Over the years I've managed to collect a pretty impressive pile of recovery and stretching devices.
They all promise to pull, stretch, loosen, strengthen or release. Some got one use and have never been seen again, others faired a little better.
Now the Roll Recovery R8 has landed. We put it to the test.
Words - Mike Boudrie
The Roll Recovery R8 is marketed as 'providing a massage for athletes to reduce inflammation, break up muscle adhesions, stimulate blood circulation and reduce recovery time'.
The Roll Recovery is the sort of 'tool' that makes people look twice. It's a clamp like arangement that uses springs to push eight roller blade style wheels into your sore legs. It's a nicely put togther piece of equipment and feels like a qualty product that will last well, even through plenty of use.
A few weeks back, a couple Roll Recovery R8's landed at La Velocita. I'd been out for my weekly, Wednesday night Essendon Cyclery shop ride. A pretty intense hour and a half evening session in Melbourne's North West. When I arrived home the Roll Recovery R8 was waiting.
Off the bike I opened up the R8 and got going. To say it's effective is a serious understatement. Working it over my quads, ITB and hamstrings the massage was awesome. Painful but good. The ability to really get into to tight spots and work them with the wheels is just brilliant. Around my knees and lower leg gave the same result, good deep massage.
I've had plenty of physiotherapy, remedial, deep tissue, dry needling etc. in my life, so I was interested to see how the R8 performed compared to these. The real surprise to me was that when I woke up the next morning I genuinely had that feeling of having had a good solid rub down the day before. You know the feeling, not being in pain, but you can feel your muscles have been worked.
We're on the road a bit for La Velocita and I've taken the R8 in my overnight bag. It's a great thing to have on weekends full of big climbs and k's and does not take up much room in the bag. The Roll Recovery always got attention when I pulled it out, with people almost always having the same reaction... something along the lines of 'what it that!', then 'let me have a go', then 'wow'.
Four weeks on and I spend 5 minutes using the Roll Recovery R8 on each leg every day, ride or no ride. I've noticed a lot less tight spots through my legs and the unit itself has become less painful to use as my legs have stopped being so tight.
The Roll Recovery R8 is a useful tool. In the four weeks I have been using it I have felt a real difference in my quads and hip flexors. I also lent one to a yoga teacher and physiotherapist for the test period. They both really liked it and thought it was a great tool to help recover and improve flexibility when used in conjunction with stretching and appropriate professional attention where required.
The Roll Recovery R8 has been a valuable tool and has helped me get by legs feeling better than pre R8. It's going to help different people in different ways. I own foam rollers, massage balls, power bands... most sit in the shed. I've found that I've used the R8 daily. It's small enough to be kept out, so when I get home from a ride I grab it and spend five minutes woking over the legs.
It's more expensive than a foam roller, but personally I think it's a highly effective tool and for that alone it's worth the money... and if it saves be a few trips to the physio it's paid for itself.
The Roll Recovery come's in at A$249 delivered. It also comes backed by a money back guarantee. Don't like it? Send it back for a refund. A nice touch and something that shows confidence in the product.
WHERE TO BUY
Head to www.rollrecovery.com.au check out the online store.