The Stick

The Stick, a therapeutic self-massage tool made for athletes, is a semi-flexible rod stacked with independent, one-inch-wide spindles that rotate as you rub. Kind of a therapeutic rolling pin for your legs, kneading muscles deep and thoroughly.

Debuted in 1991, The Stick has been around for a while. I’ve seen guys hawking it at those trade-fair venues set up before marathons and tris for years. Now I finally got one.

I’ve been training for another marathon (my 8th one!), and for the first time I have a hamstring issue. Thus, I ordered The Stick. The company touts it as an athletic panacea, making “muscles feel better, work harder, last longer and recover faster.”

For me, it’s more of a recovery tool than anything. It loosens muscles up after a long run. Kind of like a good leg rub-down, though no need to recruit a spouse or friend to do the dirty work.

Instead, simply grip the Stick’s handles and rub. Easy.

The company says The Stick works by compressing and stretching muscle; moving body fluid; and freeing circulation to allow muscles to regain “normal elasticity” before or after a workout.

I’ve found it to be effective for tight hamstrings and calves. While no miracle cure, it can loosen you up—and quick—with the same effectiveness of that massage you know your wife, husband, or friend really does not want to give.

Price: $32.95 (Sprinter Stick model)

Specs: 19 inches long; nine massage “spindles”


Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.