Thursday, 2 January 2014

Kiwi Brevet prep - recovery - DIY massager

Prepping for an event is not all about training - you don't get stronger from training - you get stronger when you recover!

Part of that recovery process is rebuilding muscle, improving circulation and nerve activity. Massage is very effective in helping this process, by breaking down scar tissue, removing waste products and relaxing the muscles.

Out in the field, a nightly routine is light massage, using powder as a lubricant or in conjunction with compression garments to allow the hands to slide over the skin with low friction.  At home though, you've got a lot more 'tools' at your disposal - machines, heatpads, creams, rollers etc.

This blog post is all about the latter - a DIY massage roller. I made this out of common items, easily sourced. I had these items left over from previous projects - frequent readers of this blog will know I love a DIY project.

Lets begin.

Bits and pieces - some pvc electrical conduit - 2 sizes, 20mm and 24mm; foam A/C lagging; handgrip lockrings x 2; bar end plugs; rubber packing strips.

To make this:

Cut the conduit to length, using a mitrebox (Park Tool fork steerer cutting gauge) for straight ends.

Clean up the edges with deburring tool, sandpaper or file

Shove the larger diameter conduit into the larger A/C lagging.

Slide the smaller conduit into the larger piece, roll it around on a flat surface a few times to settle the foam onto the conduit, so you can trim it.

Trim the excess foam. If you don't settle it first, the foam may creep and cause issues with the smooth rolling action against the lockrings.

On the smaller conduit, install the handgrip lockring, with a small rubber packer to bridge the gap between conduit and lockring.

Clean the smaller conduit, add a dry lubricant to enable smooth running of the roller, install the larger foam roller.

Add the second lockring, adjust the position to allow smooth rolling action of the central roller.

Centre the roller and lockrings.

Install the end pieces of A/C lagging, secure with a knock in handlebar end plug.

Shape the foam as desired with scissors/sharp knife/bench grinder.

Test the unit, can use with one hand or two!

This won't be the only massage tool in your kit. Nothing replaces a decent massage from a professional massage therapist, but this gives you a quick and easy tool for you to work on the muscles between visits. Don't forget to drink plenty of water.

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