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Foam roller not enough to loosen up calves



  • Thank you for answering that! I have been wearing them for spin, walking around, and weights, but not running. Reading your words affirms my very slow approach. I might try running in them for a single very slow mile but think I need a few sessions with my PT first. (Ouch.)
  • Interesting link that sock doc one. Good read and makes sense.
    So far I've been using a foam roller after all my runs and it seems to work fine for my calfs, though I've been eyeing those other TP rollers specifically aimed at the calfs.

    I've been using the Grid Roller by TP by the way. Great piece of hardware. I like its firmness. I've also got another foam roller, but I find it to be too soft.
  • Hi Tina. I too have very tight calves which I must keep working on all the time. I was disappointed with the results I was getting from a foam roller and have since found two other tools, one inexpensive, one not-so-inexpensive, which have worked well.

    On the inexpensive end I like The Orb massaging ball. I find the 5" size is just right for really working the calves. It is much easier to balance on than a tennis ball and it is enough softer than a softball that it isn't painful.

    Others have mentioned The Stick and I do think it is effective, but the best tool I have found, if you don't mind making the investment is the Roll Recovery R8 ( This thing is simply awesome. It is like carrying a massage therapist around with you. Good luck!
  • I went through very tight calves and a strained Achilles for about a year.  Got a foam roller, 6" PVC pipe, rolling pin, tried golf balls, tennis balls, etc.  Self massage worked decently better to breakup the tight calves.  Everything had a different level of success, but none were all that great.  

    Got the Rumble Roller and it was the first item I've tried that really really really dug in and got the tight adhesions.  As others have mentioned it is without a doubt a brutally painful and effective tool.  Was thinking the Trigger Point stuff, but couldn't find any locally.  Between self massage with some type of oil/lotion and the Rumble Roller I was able to finally start running pain free again.
  • The Roll Recovery R8 is pretty effective at mashing the calves, but it should be priced at about half of what they are charging. No idea why the thing is so expensive.

  • The Stick works well, but damn it hurts.  Still, very effective.  (Of course, part of my problem is I am getting into running after 38 years of NOT running, so I have a LOT of adhesions and such to work out.)
  • The Stick works pretty well for me for working on the calves. I also have a roller - the one the same brand as the Stick with the 2 ridges and the 1 ridge, alternating - and it works okay to put body weight on the bottom part of the calf. I had trigger points in the arch, in the calf and even in the back of the hamstring on that leg that I worked on.

    I have been working on mild PF for a few weeks now and, to be honest, the above devices really did help a lot, but what made it pretty much go away was some barefoot running. I know, I know - it's so annoying when the barefoot people coming on an say everyone should do it, but I'm not a barefoot runner. I do have a forefoot strike though. Basically it has been too cold to run outside anyway, so I've been running on the treadmill. For my last two runs I ran the first half mile barefoot and then put my shoes on for the rest. (I don't want any blisters.) Anyway, it cleared up after that. My feet have been more sore in general, but no PF.
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