Does It Work: The RumbleRoller

>> Monday, June 28, 2010

It looks like a foam roller on roids.

Here’s what their website says about how it’s supposed to work:

The surface of the RumbleRoller contains 200 specially designed "bumps". The bumps are firm, but flexible, much like the thumbs of a massage therapist.

As you roll over the top of the RumbleRoller, the bumps continuously knead the contours of your body, gently stretching soft tissue (muscle and fascia) in multiple directions. This action erodes trigger points, helps restore flexibility, and brings quick relief to common types of muscular pain. By design, the RumbleRoller's bumps are firmer than muscle tissue, but much softer than bone, so they deflect out of the way if they contact your spine or other bony protrusions.

Through simple techniques, you can control the amount of pressure the bumps apply to your body. The bumps are closely spaced to one another (< 2" apart), so several of them simultaneously contact your body during most exercises. However, with a slight shift of your body, you can reduce your area of contact with the RumbleRoller, which increases pressure and provides deeper, more penetrating relief.

Here’s a photo of my foam roller next to my RumbleRoller for comparison:

But does it work as they claim? And is it work the nearly $70 retail price? My answer: I think it works. The bumps have a little give to them, but they’re actually pretty hard. They work like a mini-massage to rub out sore, tight, pissed-off areas of your body. I was able to use the RumbleRoller on all the “usual spots” where I use a foam roller: IT band, calves, hammys, quads.

When I foam roll, I never feel like I can roll through my hamstrings enough - I don’t have enough body weight to put enough force on my hammys. But being the RumbleRoller is more “aggressive,” it works better through my hammys:

I DON’T always roll in my khakis, but I DO always roll with my cats

And on a hilarious / awkward note, I really enjoyed this image that came in the pamphlet that showed different ways to use the Rumble Roller. I can honestly say that I've never used a roller quite like THIS before:

I gotta try that. I think.

RumbleRoller for Beginners: Grade of C-. Yeah, it’s going to help work out those sore spots. But I don’t think you should START with a RumbleRoller. Start with a foam roller - either purchase one or get to be good friends with one at your gym. (Click here to go to my “Does it Work” post about Foam Rollers.) Here’s an analogy that I think fits in this situation: You need to own a pair of regular running shoes before you get a pair of racing flats. A foam roller is like the running shoes, and the RumbleRoller is like the racing flats.

RumbleRoller for Foam Roller Users: Grade of B+ / A-. If you’re used to a foam roller and you feel like you could use “more” (something more aggressive; something “deeper”), then the RumbleRoller is what you’re after. Click here to go to their website.

(Click on the “Does It Work” tag to see all posts in this mini-series. I did a number of posts like this back in February.)

Back with another “Does It Work” post soon. And they’ll be a giveaway coming this week too!


Mario 8:47 AM, June 28, 2010  

The TriggerPoint Roller uses the same theory of bumps or contours that are like thumbs... However, the RumbleRoller looks a bit like a replica of a a mid-evil weapon.

Molly 9:52 AM, June 28, 2010  

Well of course you aren't getting any hamstring pressure if you do it like that!!! :p Cross one leg over the other so you are only rolling one hamstring at a time and putting more body weight into it.

Molly 9:52 AM, June 28, 2010  

Oh and if you get tight in the inner hamstring like I do, that pose they are showing is exactly how to work it out.

Anonymous,  11:41 AM, June 28, 2010  

Have you tried THE STICK?

Regina 12:22 PM, June 28, 2010  

I love a foam roller. Still, I can't see spending $70!! Yikes! But I am cheap.

Steve Stenzel 12:59 PM, June 28, 2010  

Molly - yep, I've done it like that too. I do something similar for my calves too, because 2 legs at a time is too "painless." ;)

And Anonymous - no, I still haven't tried "the stick." I know a lot of people love that too!

Maggs 1:05 PM, June 28, 2010  

I use my roller that way. Hurts like a bitch, but gets the inner thigh where I tend to cramp.

nrmrvrk 1:31 PM, June 28, 2010  

I have problems getting enough weight on my hamstrings and calves when I use a foam roller too. I found that when I only work on one leg at a time and rest the other leg on top of the first, I can get much better pressure on the leg I'm working. I usually just rest my top heel on the toe of the bottom leg (hamstrings) or top toe on the heel of the bottom leg (quads). That's way I roll.

Joel 10:34 PM, June 28, 2010  

that thing does look more like a torture device than a "normal" foam roller. I need to go get one!

Unknown 7:58 AM, June 29, 2010  

I'm sorry...I don't get it, how about a roller with spikes..that would tenderize our meat better..sigh. Always another torture device out there..LOL

Heather @ Side of Sneakers 8:49 AM, June 29, 2010  

Mmmm something that can dig harder into my hamstrings? Sounds divine. ;)

Jacob 6:36 PM, July 19, 2010  

you guys should check out the Grid!! It's a similar idea but not quite so Mid-evil looking. It's like $40 US and you can travel with it as it's much smaller. It also has a full core workout program developed with it called Smrt-Core. you get a core workout and a myofascial release check it out.

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