The foam roller! ALL athletes need to utilize this tool. Foam rolling (also known as Self-myofascial Release) helps relieve those trigger points or "knots" in your muscles. This is essentially a form of self massage and the video below gives a good foundation of starter exercises with a foam roller.
To use these things, roll a muscle such as your quadriceps using your body weight. Once you find a painful spot, roll back and forth SLOWLY for about 30-60 seconds until you feel less or no pain in that spot. Then move onto the next spindle.
Another reason they're great:
Affordability. Foam rollers cost ~$20 and have a lifespan of about a year with everyday use. Compared to a $60 PER HOUR massage from a massage therapist, it is a great deal. And if you're really in the deep, like me, get one of these:
I got one at Walmart for $6. They hurt like hell for the first month but nothing releases those trigger points like a good, old rolling pin. I can't get a good massage through the foam roller anymore!
And as I stated above, here is a video of a couple ways to massage yourself :)
Im off for a 3 hour bike and a 1 hour run right after, everyone have a good day, stay fit and don't waste your money!!