buffer, waxer, athlete, weightlifting

How to Replace Your Massage Therapist for $25

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If you haven’t caught the documentary “Born Strong,” it’s really an awesome watch. It follows the story of four of the strongest men in the world as they compete in the Arnold Classic’s World’s Strongest Man competition in 2016. Between events, there’s a clip of legendary deadlift record holder Eddie Hall pulling a car buffer out of his bag and using it on his legs. In that moment, I felt vindicated.

You see, years ago a buddy of mine recommended this to me. As I unboxed mine and plugged it in, my wife informed me that I was probably being tricked by my friends. But, lo and behold, that car buffer was amazing, and it wasn’t too long until she was using it too! Over the years I’ve shared this tip with anyone who will listen and most are skeptical to start…but after 15 seconds, they’re believers!

I have both a 10″ and a 6″ option —  the larger one is great for more surface area, like your back or quads. The smaller one is great for detail work (ha, sorry) like your arms, traps, calves and forearms.

Here’s how I do it:

  • If there’s a cloth or extra pad on the buffer I take it off so that there’s only the main layer of foam. Feel free to experiment, but this is what works for me.
  • Remove loose clothing. Compression stuff is fine, but t-shirts, shorts or other baggy clothes will impede the rotation of the device and/or give you a friction burn.
  • Start with a few low pressure passes over as much of the area as possible. Just like a massage, you want to start warming the area up before you dig in.
  • Continue making passes over the area, increasing the pressure on the buffer. Once sufficiently warmed up, you can press hard, turn it on it’s side (think getting elbows in a massage!), or just make a circular motion with light pressure over the area.
  • Take breaks as you need to, and keep it easy your first session. Some people do experience tingling (probably a friction burn), especially those with sensitive skin, so work up to it. A few minutes go a long way. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than 3 minutes on a single area.
  • While this is great to do post-workout, try to make sure you’re not sweating. These buffers tend to get shared and they’re not easy to disinfect, so take the proper precautions!

If you’re in desperate need of a massage but don’t have the time or money, or just want to invest $20 into a great recovery tool, pick up a car buffer today. You won’t be sorry!

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