There’s a product making rounds for the sheer ridiculousness of its pricetag — a $5,000 gold-plated foam roller. Yes, a muscle recovery device that’s on par with an engagement ring. Here’s the thing — and hear us out here — we’re all for it. Finally, the lowly roller is getting the gold-plated treatment it deserves. Sure, this one is mostly for show — if you really want a roller, buy the equally effective $20-$40 product — but it's hard to argue against celebrating a product that promises decreased fatigue, injury and muscles soreness. Finally, the roller is getting the gold-plated pedestal it deserves.
Myofascial release is the closest thing we have to a recovery miracle. In the form of massage or muscle rolling, rolling helps to eliminate adhesions in the muscles or connective tissue — things that could prevent a muscle from contracting uniformly from one end to the other and this could cause pain or injury. Done correctly, muscle rolling can also increase blood flow and help correct sub optimal movement patterns. Multiple studies in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research have showed that self-myofascial release (foam rolling) decreased fatigue after workouts, allowing athletes to train harder the next day. Another study showed that a myofascial release and stretching protocol increased the flexibility of D1 linemen.
Muscle rolling can be hard to get to, it takes time that you could use lifting weights or doing cardio, it hurts, and the floor rollers always seem to be confined to the nastiest corner of the gym. This is why personal muscle rollers are so genius. You can pack one in your backpack or carry-on bag and get some myofascial release in between meetings, after a long flight, or when you’re sitting on your couch at home. Just a few minutes of rolling can make a huge difference in injury prevention, soreness and flexibility, especially if you do it consistently (most of the studies use just 20 minutes a day). We’ve all had to sit out a workout, or a month, due to joint pain or muscular injury at some point, so those few minutes a few times a day represent an investment in being able to get back out there and do what we love.
Tiger Tail makes a whole range of portable myofascial release products that we own and love. You can get the 11-inch "travel" roller for just $25 on amazon.com right now — and we suggest you do if you don't already have one. As for the 5-pound, $5,000 gold plated version? If you're a foam rolling convert with cash to throw around, get one and put it on a pedestal at home — right where it deserves to be.