The Best Massage Balls for Runners and Athletes in 2020

Natalie Cecconi
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Are you a runner or an athlete? If yes, you should know how important it is to maintain a good level of fitness in order to stay at your best. In order to reach that peak, you need to keep in good shape and maintain a good level of flexibility.

Maintaining your body to be at its peak implies that you need to care for your body in all aspects. For that, you need to have a holistic workout program. Physical care should not be left out of your workout program.

Millions of athletes around the world use massage balls as part of their muscle recovery sessions to heal the muscles after exerting a lot of energy in their workouts.

If you are an athlete, then you should be using massage balls in order to improve your performance.

Below, we have researched and reviewed some of the Best Massage Balls for Athletes specifically designed to help you in your workout.

NameCategoryProduct
TriggerPoint Foam Massage BallBest Overall
TriggerPoint Foam Massage Ball
TriggerPoint MobiPoint Textured Massage BallBudget Pick
TriggerPoint MobiPoint Textured Massage Ball
Hyperice Hypersphere MiniUpgrade Pick
Hyperice Hypersphere Mini

1. TriggerPoint Foam Massage Ball

Our rating: 9 / 10


TriggerPoint Foam Massage Ball

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Pros:

  • Worth for the money
  • Much more comfortable to use than a tennis ball
  • It’s great way to warm up
  • You can use it for self-massage of any muscle after workouts
  • You can also use it while massaging other people
  • It’s approved by physical therapists
  • It’s painless when using it correctly
  • It’s been upgraded and made to suit respective body types
  • They can be used in so many different ways
  • You can also use it on your dogs, horses, and cats

Cons:

  • The bag is not comfortable for traveling
  • The material may be too hard for some people
  • They may also be too cold at times
  • Some users found it to be hard to clean
  • Some may find it to be too heavy

The TriggerPoint Foam is a self-massage tool designed to help alleviate pain in sore muscles. It is one of the best massage balls for athletes because you can apply pressure on the most efficient parts of your body.

2. Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls

Our rating: 9 / 10


Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls

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Pros:

  • Comes with a nice compact carrying case
  • made from hypoallergenic silicone; safe and hygienic
  • Reasonable price
  • Multiple color options
  • Comes with a comprehensive manual with diagrams and instructions

Cons:

  • Won’t compress as much as a golf ball
  • Not good for the head or feet
  • Beads can come loose

40mm…

This is one of the best massage balls available on the market. The Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls are made from hypoallergenic silicone that is safe and super soft. It is firm enough to do the work but soft enough to be painless. It also comes with a manual that contains diagrams and instructions for use.

It is made up of mini craters and nubs which provide excellent stimulation of your muscles and trigger points. They are great for relieving tightness and knots in your major muscle groups. The Kieba Lacrosse Balls are also great for releasing immune and endocrine issues such as allergies and hormone imbalances.

3. Pro-Tec Athletics Orb

Our rating: 9 / 10


Pro-Tec Athletics Orb

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Pros:

  • Available at two different sizes – 11.8cm for the Orb and 17.8cm for the Orb Extreme
  • Great relief for tight muscles
  • Stimulates lymphatic flow for a toned body
  • You can use the mini version for travel

Cons:

  • Some people may need more pressure
  • The second ball is harder to find as it’s made by a different manufacturer

The Pro-Tec Athletics Orb, Orb Extreme and Orb Extreme Mini are unique massage balls you can use to relieve tight muscles and stimulate lymphatic flow for a toned body.

They come in three different sizes with the smallest model weighing 0.24 lbs and the largest 27.2 oz. The Orb Extreme mini is the lightest massager ball available in the market today.

The Orb Extreme and Orb Extreme mini are the rollers used by professional athletes, including PGA, NFL, NBA, and NHL stars.

4. Pro-Tec Spiky Massage Ball

Our rating: 9 / 10


Pro-Tec Spiky Massage Ball

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Pros:

  • Great for releasing knots and tight muscles
  • Contains 6 elastic spikes that are perfect for rolling out knots
  • Strong construction; sturdier than most other massage balls
  • The spikes and edges are rounded; safe for even the most sensitive skin
  • Size is perfect for reaching nearly all muscle groups
  • Comes with a convenient carrying strap
  • Price is affordable

A massage ball is basically a smooth ball that you’ll be able to roll on muscles to increase the circulation on areas that need it. It can be used by individuals who don’t have pain or injuries, as well as by people who have muscle problems.

They can be used for a lot of different reasons, including the following:

  • To help reduce muscle pain
  • Increased flexibility
  • To help reduce scar tissue
  • You can reduce swelling
  • And a lot more

5. TriggerPoint Performance MB Deep Tissue 2.5-Inch Textured Massage Ball

Our rating: 9 / 10


TriggerPoint Performance MB Deep Tissue 2.5-Inch Textured Massage Ball

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Pros:

  • Wide range of applications
  • Great intensity level
  • Affordable
  • Multi-density design
  • Excellent customer service
  • Easy to handle and hold

Cons:

  • Not suitable for applying deep pressure to incapacitated patients
  • Small size makes reaching abdominal muscles impossible

When you’re an athlete, owning and using the TriggerPoint Performance MB Deep Tissue 2.5-Inch Textured Massage Ball is a no-brainer. Why? Because it’s just about as close to a physical therapist as you can get with a simple tennis ball.

This device is specifically designed with soft yet durable material. It comes in a 2.5-inch ball with a soft textured surface that is cushioned with an impact-absorbing rubber core. You can use it to relieve tender muscles, relax or stretch your back, stimulate your reflex points, loosen up tension in your shoulders, elbows, and wrists, work out your shins and calves, and more.

The TriggerPoint Performance MB Deep Tissue 2.5-Inch Textured Massage Ball is a very small device but it packs a lot of muscle massaging ability. So if you are looking for a little extra help to improve your sports performance, this is an excellent way to do it.

6. TriggerPoint MobiPoint Textured Massage Ball

Our rating: 9 / 10


TriggerPoint MobiPoint Textured Massage Ball

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If your sport is causing stress points and knots in the body, then a massage ball is a helpful and economical way to deal with it.

Available in the three aforementioned sizes, they are easy for you to use for everyday muscle tension or while running. What’s great about these balls is that they can be taken with you anywhere and don’t require any additional muscle strength or effort. They are simple to use and provide a wide array of different benefits.

You can use it for self-massage on the feet, calves, quads, neck, back, shoulders, and there are a ton of other muscle groups it can be used for.

7. Pro-Tec Athletics Orb

Our rating: 9 / 10


Pro-Tec Athletics Orb

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Available at two different sizes – 11.8cm for the Orb and 17.8cm for the Orb Extreme
  • Great relief for tight muscles
  • Stimulates lymphatic flow for a toned body
  • You can use the mini version for travel

Cons:

  • Some people may need more pressure
  • The second ball is harder to find as it’s made by a different manufacturer

The Pro-Tec Athletics Orb, Orb Extreme and Orb Extreme Mini are unique massage balls you can use to relieve tight muscles and stimulate lymphatic flow for a toned body.

They come in three different sizes with the smallest model weighing 0.24 lbs and the largest 27.2 oz. The Orb Extreme mini is the lightest massager ball available in the market today.

The Orb Extreme and Orb Extreme mini are the rollers used by professional athletes, including PGA, NFL, NBA, and NHL stars.

8. Hyperice Hypersphere Mini

Our rating: 8 / 10


Hyperice Hypersphere Mini

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Pros:

  • Available for both feet and hands
  • Portable and great for use at home
  • Works with a rechargeable battery
  • Comes with a convenient carry pouch
  • Good for high and low impacts
  • Can be used for kids as well
  • Great price point
  • No vibration fatigue

The Hyperice Hypersphere Mini is the world’s first dual-purpose vibrating massage ball. This product can be used for muscle recovery and also as a rolling compression tool for a less intense workout. It is named the Hypersphere Mini because it’s about half the size of the full-size HyperSpheres, but take it from us – this one is big enough to get the job done.

The Hypersphere Mini has a comfortable soft-touch exterior that is so much more comfortable than some of the other massage balls we’ve tried. It comes with a velvety case for easy storage and portability so it’s easy to take it along with you to the gym, or to use it for some self-care at home.

9. Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller

Our rating: 8 / 10


Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller

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Pros:

  • Relieves muscle pain and inflammation
  • Rooms cold therapy, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy.
  • Height is adjustable.

Cons:

  • Easy to chip the outside.
  • Can freeze user’s skin.

If you want to buy a product that is well worth pocket this is one. The Recoup Fitness roller is a non-slip and compact cold therapy device that loosens up your muscles and increases blood supply.

10. Gaiam Restore Hot and Cold Therapy Kit

Our rating: 7 / 10


Gaiam Restore Hot and Cold Therapy Kit

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Pros:

  • Has 2 hot and cold therapy balls
  • Comes in two sizes: small, large
  • Includes two immersion heaters
  • Soft, smooth texture with premium cloth
  • Moist heat works well, and stays hot for a long time
  • Easily compressible, and moldable for better fit
  • Easier to roll over tight muscles
  • Superior construction that’s built to last
  • Doesn’t retain odors

Gaiam Restore Hot and Cold Therapy Kit includes two hot and cold therapy balls that compliment each other. One is a soft and smooth hot therapy ball, and the other is a small cold therapy ball.

Both of these therapy balls offer compression and can mold to the area being treated, so it’s easier to roll over tight muscles. They transmit warmth long after you use them and don’t retain odors.

Gaiam Restore Hot and Cold Therapy Kit comes with two immersion heaters that you put in hot water before use. Both of these heaters feature an auto-off setting, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them on after you’re done.

11. Hyperice Hypersphere Vibrating Therapy Ball

Our rating: 4 / 10


Hyperice Hypersphere Vibrating Therapy Ball

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Pros:

  • Contains two balls for double the relief
  • Proprietary self-vibrating VIBE technology
  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • Great value for its price
  • Can be used to relieve various ailments and pains

The Hyperice Hypersphere Kit is a vibrating therapy ball kit. It contains two balls with different density levels that you can use to either loosen up tight muscle tissue or to release muscle knots.

What’s great about Hyperice’s technology is that it provides a unique self-massage experience. Additionally, relaxing and pain-relieving vibrations make this kit perfect for those suffering from arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis.

The balls are made out of a medical-grade rubber foam material. This material conforms to the shape of the object applied for over time. As a result, you’ll feel a warm sensation and muscle release as you apply the ball to your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What type of massage is best for runners?

Different massage balls are designed to provide different types of massage.

Some balls such as the TriggerPoint Grid 2.0 and TheraTip Massage Ball are designed for trigger point work. The Grid has a random pattern of small nodes that can be used to pinpoint areas of tension in your muscles and apply pressure specifically.

Other balls are not meant for trigger work and are meant to roll all over your body to massage and loosen your whole muscle mass. These are good for any kind of massage work, but are ideal for before and after a workout, or any other time you want to loosen up your muscles.

Some massage balls are designed to provide both. For example the sportscig 2 ball can be used for trigger point work, but also has a built-in massage rollers. The massage rollers are great for rolling all over your body and are perfect for general massage work and loosening up your muscles.

Do spiky massage balls work?

The effectiveness of massage balls is primarily due to the mechanical and chemical effects of massage. When the muscle is compressed, blood vessels are constricted, and as a result, soreness is reduced.

Heat accumulation in the tissue and local adhesion are also reduced with the massaging of the muscles, which facilitates blood circulation. As a result, soreness is relieved, the capillary permeability is improved, and the muscle is relaxed.

During massage, the blood circulation should not remain stagnant. Massaging the muscles helps to move the blood-rich fluid through peripheral capillaries, which brings nutrients to the muscle, thereby speeding up the recovery process.

What are the best foam rollers for runners?

The best foam roller for runners is one that has a firm yet still somewhat comfortable surface. The action of rolling over it will cause some discomfort, but not so much that it’ll result in injury.

Our Favorite Bamboo Rolling Stick is by far the most comfortable one on the market and will work well for most athletes.

Neutrally dipped foam rollers are best because they aren’t too hard or soft, and you’re able to roll on joint and muscle groups.

Should I get a massage before or after a long run?

You get the best results from using the best massage balls after a run. This is because after you have really taxed your muscles nothing is more beneficial than using the best massage balls.

This is because the act of running tends to cause microscopic tears in the body as well as trigger the production of muscle-wasting proteins. By using the best massage balls you break up scar tissue and reduce levels of these muscle wasting proteins.

Additionally, after a run if you are able to hit the muscles hard there is less chance of your muscles becoming stiff the following day.

However, if you only have time to use a massage ball after your run there are still benefits. You should never let soreness or aches and pains go untreated. As your pain will most likely interfere with your run the next day.

Conclusion

With the holistic focus on the benefits of massage these days, foam rolling may be your preferred option for clearing away aches and pains. That’s why we chose Myofascial Release Foam Rollers as the best option for a runner looking for some relief from the sport; we think it’s great for anyone who’s out on the road every day as well.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
TriggerPoint Foam Massage BallBest Overall
TriggerPoint Foam Massage Ball
TriggerPoint MobiPoint Textured Massage BallBudget Pick
TriggerPoint MobiPoint Textured Massage Ball
Hyperice Hypersphere MiniUpgrade Pick
Hyperice Hypersphere Mini