As a runner you’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest gadgets that either look cool, or more importantly, improve your performance. Most of the time we fall victim to gimmicks. Stuff that’s promoted with slick marketing slang or has the support of a famous athlete and a bit of pseudo-science to back up exaggerated claims. Often it’s a case of style over substance.
The principle behind the design of the R8 is simple. Essentially the creators were athletes themselves and like most of us hated the idea of rolling around on the floor on a foam roller as a recovery technique. It’s awkward and physically demanding on an already tired body. So they created a tool that plays the same role. In place of wriggling around the ground, you can sit on the couch and comfortably watch TV while giving yourself a light massage. Well, to tell you the truth, it can be a not-so-quite light massage if you want! The force created by the rollerblade-like wheels is pretty impressive, so much so that you can hit trigger points hard and work knots and tight parts out quite well.
The self-tensioning system adjusts to suit different leg sizes, with the hamstrings, quads, calves, ITB’s, gluts, shins and hip flexors all receiving a quality work over. I found the quads and claves to be particularly responsive to the workings of the R8, but be careful to avoid your shinbones as they can be a tad tender. The size and weight make it ideal for travelling with or keeping in a draw where it’s readily available. As opposed to a foam roller which typically finds a home under the bed, never to see the light of day again!
As for negatives, the R8 has but a couple. The level of tension and lack of ability to work on your back or neck means you’ll probably still need the occasional proper massage. But then again this tool is only meant to be a value add to your routine and provide a post training flush out or pre run warm up. It’s not supposed to replace your masseuse. The only other downer is the weight. Should you have loads of luggage and need to trim some mass to avoid excess baggage fees when flying, the R8 will probably get the flick.
All in all I think it’s an absolute winner. It has made self-massage a breeze and now I find myself using one several times a day while watching TV. My legs respond really well to it and the R8 is very easy to use.
If you want one, visit: www.rollrecovery.com.au
Ordering from Australia means quick delivery and local customer service should you need it.