Have you ever finished a run or ride and your legs feel heavy or sore? That feeling is due to the breaking down of the muscle tissues and ‘toxins’ like lactic acid that build up inside the muscles. A massage is one of the best ways to flush those toxins and improve circulation which in turn will speed recovery and rebuilding of those muscle tissues. Unfortunately not everyone can afford their own personal masseur, the cost of paying for a daily massage, or they simply are not close to a Massage Therapist. There are a number of different devices on the market to help an athlete perform a massage on their own aching muscles when they can’t get a massage. While down at Interbike this year, we had a chance to checkout a new entry in the personal massage market – the R8 from Roll Recovery is a roller type of device that is designed specifically for use on an athlete’s legs.
The R8 uses eight inline skate looking wheels mounted to a spring loaded frame to provide a finger-like massage on both sides of a leg at the same time. Think of the eight wheels acting like eight fingers providing a deep tissue massage – that was the basis for their design. The self adjusting, Zytel thermoplastic frame targets the quads, hamstrings, IT-bands, gluteus, calves, shins, hip-flexors, and many of the other areas where a post activity massage can really help flush out those nasty toxins.
Roll Recovery had a few of the R8 models on the floor at Interbike to try. The first attempt to just pull the arms apart and clamp it onto my tired legs proved to be very difficult. The springs area designed to provide enough force to mimic a massage, a deeper tissue type of massage or in other words, they are very strong springs. The U.S. Sales Manager, Curtis Suver, then showed me the proper way to roll the R8 onto my legs. His method of rolling the R8 onto my leg was much easier than trying to open it and close it over my leg, making it a snap to get the R8 onto my legs and easily move it around to other areas.
Admittedly the R8 is painful, but in a good way. The force provided by the springs does have the feel of a deep tissue, knuckle administered type of massage… the type that hurts while it is being performed, but feels so good after. Just a few minutes of use made my legs feel so much better after walking to show floor for a solid eight hours.
Just like other types of devices on the market, the R8 is fairly compact. About the size of a large cookbook and weighing under three pounds, the R8 should be able to easily fit inside a gear bag making it handy for post-workout use.
The Roll Recovery R8 features:
- Body made from reinforced Zytel thermoplastic
- Strong, corrosion-resistant torsion springs provide adequate massage force
- Polyurethane wheels with smooth rolling ABEC5 ball bearings
- Stainless steel and aluminum hardware
- Dimensions: 11.5″ x 9.5″ x 2.75″ (30cm x 25cm x 7cm)
- Weight: 2.5-pounds
- Comes with travel bag
The R8 is available directly through Roll Recovery’s website and has a retail price of $99. They are currently taking pre-orders and they are estimated to ship sometime this month. Recovery and rest are often overlooked as very important parts of training, and neglecting to do both can lead to lackluster results. Tools like personal massage devices help in this process and the new R8 looks to be an excellent one to have in the arsenal to roll out those nasty toxins.