Tag Archives: Recovery

Review: Addaday Type C and Junior Massage Rollers

For the past several months, I have been using a couple ingenious massagers created by Addaday. While the massaging stick popularized by the company The Stick has been around for years with a its very popular product, Addaday has taken the concept and improved on it.

I am currently using two of their products, the Type C Massage Stick and the Junior+ Massage Roller. I’d be hard pressed to say which one I like better. Honestly, I favor one over the other and then change my mind frequently.

The Type C Massage Stick is brilliant in its design. There are a series of “Gears” with one being “pinpoint precision”. The gears have different densities of surface to simulate different pressures. The Type C has “Surface Skin Technology (SST)” and is considered medium density. I find it to be a good amount of pressure when I use it. I especially like the pinpoint precision gear. With its placement along with adjacent gears, I really feel like I can comb along the muscles. I actually prefer using the device over the foam roller.

Between the larger gears and the pinpoints, I am able to shift back and forth to target specific problem areas. This is the first device I have been able to use on my shins. I found this to be possible because of the spacing between the gears. When using a traditional massage stick, I hit bone very frequently and it is too painful to proceed. And while using the Foam Roller, often, I can’t get enough precision. The Addaday really allows me to target specific areas effectively.

addaday-work

One of the most common places I used the Type C Massage stick is at work. I find that it works really well over my slacks or khakis. It doesn’t pull hair per se on my legs, but I find it more comfortable over material.

The other Junior+ Massage Roller is almost always with me. I keep in in my bag with electronics and also take it to races. It is so small that it is truly portable. I find that it can almost completely replace the lacrosse ball for hard to reach spots and it doesn’t roll away.

addaday-lacrosse

Also using the combination of the Type C stick and Junior Plus roller gives me nearly all the options for pressure density with the stick being of medium density and the Junior Plus being softer. I really can’t recommend these highly enough. Addaday also makes it a point of trying to support local running stores, so please check their site to see which stores near you carry them at http://www.addaday.com/.

Review: Aminoskin

Getting nutrition down during a marathon can be a tricky thing. This is especially true in late miles when your stomach has shut down and you are hanging on for dear life. That is why the products at Aminoskin got me curious. Aminoskin offers a line of products developed in Germany that profess to supply amino acids during a workout from skin absorption.

I was eager to give the products a try. I had heard of vitamins and nutrients being applied to the skin for absorption and thought that might be an ingenious way to get some needed nutrients during a race. Previously though, amino acids were not thought to be absorbable through the skin.

Amino acid absorbtion through the skin is dictated by the size. Aminoskin has found a way to decrease the size enough to make absorption possible. Aminoskin points this out on their Facts page and The National Institute of Health study Interaction of nanoparticles and cell-penetrating peptides with skin for transdermal drug delivery appears to back the science up.

Before taking a chance on the product and skin allergies, I applied a little bit to my forearm and had no reactions of any kind for the day. It is very mild and has a very light citrusy scent. I then applied Aminoskin for two races on back-to-back weekends – a full marathon followed by a half marathon. For the full marathon, I applied Aminoskin Endurance.

Aminoskin Endurance contains taurine which helps to delay muscle fatigue during the activity. I dutifully applied the lotion to my quads exactly 20 minutes before the race in the porta-pottie. The consistency is very interesting. It is not as viscous as a standard lotion, it is almost frothy. That is good for me because I have always found lotion to be slimy. My wife likes to tease me about that. The product absorbs into the skin very quickly and was not noticeable as I exited the port-a-pottie.

There are other ingredients like mint in the product that may have exaggerated the effect, but I honestly didn’t feel my muscles as I started the race. It’s not like they were paralyzed and I had no control, but rather like they were gently held in a stasis and super relaxed. This may have influenced my decision to go out harder than I should have and I ran with a pace group 10 minutes faster than my goal.

For the first several miles, my legs felt outstanding and honestly I hadn’t run that well for a while. The miles were just clicking and felt effortless. Was this all the product? No. But I do think it made  a difference. Even if there was a placebo effect. The reason I credit the product is because I could tangibly feel the tingling and then numbness after application.

I shared my experience with Aminoskin and was advised to take a hot bath and apply some of the Recovery to help me the next day. I did this with Epsom salts and I will say that I recovered from the race better than I could have imagined.

The day after the race, I was able to walk down my stairs facing forward, not sideways (I still had to be gentle and used a handrail, but the difference was palpable). I saw my chiropractor the same day, and he was completely surprised. I was in better shape than I had been in 18 months of treatment. Was it all the product? No. But I do think it was a factor.

The rep at Aminoskin also advised me to use both the Power and Endurance product at the same time in my next race.

Amino skin Power contains Arginine which as described on their site as follows:

Arginine is used to make nitric oxid (NO) in the human body. NO dilates the blood vessels, faciliates an increased blood flow into muscle tissue and improves thereby the supplementation of oxygen and nutrients to increase the muscle power. AminoSkin Power is particularly suited to support your performance during sport specific interval and strength exercises, which are characterized by alternativ exercise phases and recovery phases (so-called intervals).

The rep also said to make sure I apply it to all muscles I will be using in the race. So, I made a port-a-pottie trip 20 minutes before the start of the Shamrock half-marathon and applied both to my quads, hamstrings and calves.

This time when I raced, I felt much the same as before. I started out the race tentatively because I was only one week off a marathon, hadn’t run a step all week and have a spotty injury history. My legs felt very good and I was able to set into a rhythm. I even was relaxed and comfortable enough to catch up to a friend that I sometimes run with and we ran the rest of the race together. I felt very good throughout the race and managed to get a 3.5 minute PR out of it.

I repeated the same process of recovery afterward and was feeling fine the next day. I actually was feeling so good that I was complaining that I wasn’t being allowed to run because I was in the middle of the recovery.

Again, the big question is are the results of my races and quicker recoveries caused by the Aminoskin? I would answer again. Not completely but they are a definite factor. But here is the bottom line, will I be using the product in the future. Absolutely. I will be applying some for my 20 miler this afternoon and I will be dutifully sneaking off to a port-a-pottie in 6 days for my third marathon and am very thankful I have this extra tool available.

Aminoskin is sold exclusively on their site at http://aminoskin.com (for English, click the American flag on the top right of the page).

Review: Moji 360 Mini Massager

This has been a terrible training season for me. It started out well, then a cascade of injuries occurred and I have had to cancel all my races this fall. Sadly, I have been injured enough that I have begun to learn the names of muscles, tendons and fascia that I never new about before.

Truthfully, I wish I were oblivious. But, this experience allows me to share information about recovery products. Two of my mainstay products are foam rollers and The Stick. I have one of these at both home and work. But there is a third device that I don’t always talk about. It has been out for a couple years, but surprisingly not everyone has heard of it. Even my chiropractor wasn’t familiar with it. It being the Moji 360 Mini Massager.

moji-360-mini-massager

I extended the build-up for this device because I consider it almost a secret weapon tool. I know my IT band quivers when it comes out.

I first heard of the mini massager from The Gearist in one of their great videos and had to give it a try.

The basic design is like a scrubber for your muscles. There are seven different sized ball bearings called “spheres”. They are omnidirectional and move freely while using the device. The spheres at each end of the Moji Mini 360 are larger and are used for increased intensity with the one that falls under the palm being the most intense of all.

And by intense, I mean it can be incredibly intense. This is good. You have the flexibility to really put some extreme pressure on a highly targeted area. I currently see a sports chiropractor and have Active Release Therapy and the Moji allows me to self-administer some as well.

When I use the Moji, I use the larger spheres to tackle my trigger points. I actually use the one closer to my finger tips more frequently because it is easier for me to nail down uncooperative muscle strands and tendons with more accuracy. I then work the device over the muscles in question and break up the adhesions.

What I have found is that after I use the Moji for very intense massage of trouble spots, I will follow up with The Stick or foam roller. I will use them like rolling pins to knead out the area and maximize the results. With the combo of the Moji 360 Mini and The Stick, I can have nearly complete relief from IT band soreness. I also use the Moji 360 Mini to tackle my peronius longus muscles on the outside of my legs. I then follow up with the foam roller.

The best part of the Moji is that it is small and highly portable. So while I have foam rollers and the stick at both home and work, I only have one Moji Mini, which is good so I can keep an eye on it. It is one device that I definitely don’t want to lose.

The Moji Mini is one foolproof device that I can recommend for any athlete, and for under $30, it’s a great deal. It can easily fit in a stocking as well.

You can get one at gomoji.com or Amazon

Note: The links on this page are affiliate links which will give me a small commission.

Shoes

Some day I will learn. When I stop running in a pair of shoes, they need to be retired completely. I just wore my shoes that took me through my first marathon. My hip was feeling like it was out of alignment. I have changed to another pair of shoes    Which ones? A pair that I’m about to retire… Well, baby steps.