As the Ferrari is to the Yugo, so too are the RumbleRoller
and Beastie to the common foam roller and lacrosse ball. Mobility tools to be sure, but on a whole different level. Foam rollers are used to relieve muscular pain and tightness, while massage balls work with greater detail on smaller muscles or a more specific area.
The immediate difference noted are the bumps protruding from these products, noticeably different than a typical foam roller. Not just a fancy design, the bumps serve several purposes: they stimulate deeper layers of muscle tissue, concentrate massage pressure, and improve access to soft tissue near bones. The bumps also add another dimension to your foam rolling, by allowing you to rock side to side along with the back and forth rolling, you reach many more areas.
With my new goal of improving overall mobility, it was pretty exciting to get samples of these to try out, though I’ll admit I was really intimidated to actually use them at first. I knew there’d be pain. The RumbleRoller comes in two densities, for beginners and for experts or those who need more work. I received the original density (blue) – the black is 36% firmer yet, which would definitely have been too much for me. What an amazing difference the bumps make, night and day between the plain foam roller and this one. Definitely makes one more cautions at first and definitely feels more effective.
The Beastie is available in two versions – Original, which has firm but flexible bumps, and X-Firm, which is extremely firm. If you’re using the Beastie on the floor, the Original is probably all you need, since your body weight will help you dig into trouble spots. The included base means you can also mount the Beastie on the wall – in that case, the X-Firm might be what you need. The Original was more than enough firmness for me as a beginner. Rolling it underfoot to massage my arch, rolling it along my shin, the bumps took it to a whole new level of pain and, it seemed to me, effectiveness.
My RumbleRoller and Beastie came with a DVD, Jeff Alexander’s “SMR Tips
for RumbleRoller and RR Beastie,” and the instruction was invaluable. (SMR stands for Self-Myofascial Release, which is a fancy way of saying self massage.) The first thing I learned I was doing wrong was that I was going too fast and trying to cover too much area. The RumbleRoller and Beastie are great for slow, agonizing work on small, specific areas.
After one session, I could feel a difference. Now the key is to stay consistent – I haven’t decided if I’m going to make this a daily routine, though that would probably be the best thing to start.
If you’re already working on mobility, but using an old-school plain foam roller and lacrosse ball, good for you. If you’re new to mobility or want to take it to the next level, these two products work in a whole different way, a better way, in my opinion.
These products were provided for review purposes – all opinions are my own.
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