My apologies right up front for having a post that reads more like a product endorsement. I’ll put it out there right up front that I have not received any remuneration from these folks for what I’ve written or said about their product.
It seems as if, for whatever reason, I suffer from muscle soreness a little more than what I think is normal. Whether it was back from the rowing days, weight lifting, or now biking; if I have a good workout, I pay for it the next day with a lot of pain. It could be that I just overdo it, or that I should stretch more, or maybe my diet sucks; but very often I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with my thighs feeling like hamburger and I pop an unhealthy amount of ibuprofen for a day or two.
The only time this wasn’t a problem was a very long time ago, where I was in top racing form. That involved really frequent workouts, and I commented to my doubles partner, who was also a ranked bike racer, that I felt as if I was getting stronger with each workout, and wasn’t experiencing any stiffness. He said that it was normal…
But I’m probably getting off topic.
In the Spring of 2015, along with my weight training and the HIIT training I had been doing, I started researching rollers for deep tissue massage. We had a few laying around so I tried a few of the movements. For quads and the group of muscles around the knees, I just wasn’t coordinated enough to make it work.
A little more research, and I come across the Roll Recovery. I’m interested, but the thing is pricey and looks a little bit too much like a gadget. A little later I’m at one of my son’s volleyball matches, and I see a kid pull one out afterwards and start working on his thighs. I go up and speak to him, and he casually endorses it.
Still some time passes, but now were into prime riding season, and I have a few rides where I experience the soreness. A little more research, and I find them sourced locally, at the Appalachian Running Company in Carlisle. Passing through there one day, I stop in and make the purchase = $120.
Like the pictures and videos show, the thing is a very heavily made vise with a bunch of rollers that you squeeze onto your leg, and then work back and forth. The springs are pretty strong, but there is a technique for rolling it onto the leg and spreading it gradually.
I think they warn you about this, but I’ll do it also: the first few times you use this, it feels like it’s tearing the muscles from the bone – it really hurts. I chalk that up to “breaking up adhesions” which sounds gimmicky, except that I’ve read about that in more professional journals.
However, after the first week, that starts to change, and it actually feels good. One develops a technique for running the rollers across the muscles just the right way, and you start searching for tightness and cramps to work out.
The result is that the legs are still tired, but not nearly as sore. In fact, I can tell the next day if I missed a spot. I’ve linked to one of their videos since it’s much better at explaining the use than what I could do, but the bottom line is that I’m now a believer. It sits on my night stand, and when I come in from a ride and go change or get ready for a shower, I spend no more than five minutes working my thighs.