Try it: Whenever you’re aching.
How it works: Like a DIY deep-tissue sports massage. Lie down with your sore area (say, your back, quadriceps, or iliotibial bands—also known as IT bands—which run along the outsides of the thighs) against the roller and roll back and forth. When you feel the most pain, stop, breathe, and focus on relaxing that muscle against the tube.
Bear in mind: Rollers (sold at sporting-goods stores) come in different sizes and densities. Borden recommends a 6-by-36-inch one in a color (like black or green), which will be harder and last longer than a less dense white one. Also, if you’re very sore, you probably won’t be able to tolerate a lot of pressure at first. “Expect a level of discomfort that will decrease as you get used to it,” says Borden.
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