This Vibrating Foam Roller Is the Only Tool That's Helped Relax My Tight Muscles — and It's 50 Percent Off
It wasn't long after the start of stay-at-home orders last spring that I noticed my hips were cracking louder than they ever had before. They'd always been unnaturally noisy — a side effect that's remained nearly 10 years after my intensive ballet training ended — but their increased volume made me realize the toll staying put in my Brooklyn apartment had on my joints. I was very stiff. So, I decided it was finally time to get a foam roller.
But I didn't just want any foam roller. The one I landed on promised to provide even more relief than a more traditional option. Nextrino's Vibrating Foam Roller (Buy It, $50, was $100, amazon.com) is covered in ridges to get deep into muscles and has three vibration speeds to shake out tension. (Related: The Best Foam Rollers for Muscle Recovery)
I had used foam rollers in the past to roll out my muscles after intense dance classes, but this time around, I was hoping the tool could help me with the opposite problem: My joints and muscles felt tight from a lack of movement. And according to physical therapist Karena Wu, owner of New York City's ActiveCare Physical Therapy, this was a totally reasonable expectation.
"Foam rollers are beneficial for anyone looking to release soft tissues, mobilize joints, and add stability training to their exercises," explains Wu. "Soft tissue release is essentially an at-home massage. It compresses and moves soft tissues, which can help with pain modulation, fluid movement, and muscle activation. Joints can also benefit by restoring movement." A vibrating effect, she adds, is particularly beneficial for releasing tension and tightness in the soft tissues that surround the bones and joints. (Related: Which is better: a foam roller or a massage gun?)
I use the Nextrino foam roller on its lowest vibration setting and roll out my legs, hips, and upper back, often pausing to let the vibration do the work of loosening up my muscles. On some occasions, I position it longways and align it with my spine, leaning back for a relaxing chest-opener. When I'm done, I feel more flexible — and sometimes, more motivated to turn on a YouTube yoga class. My hips still crack like they always do, but I'm much closer to my pre-quarantine range of motion.
I'm not the only one who's reaped the benefits. Over 500 Amazon shoppers have given the device a five-star rating, with reviewers saying it relieves tension and muscle knots. Some even recommend it for easing neck pain and shin splints. "I am able to get a deeper stretch for my lower, mid, and upper back with the vibrating mode," one shopper wrote. "It's like a deep tissue massage and a deep stretch in one and has helped open up the spine and relax my muscles in a few minutes."
The vibration of the roller can be quite loud, so it's best to use it on a rug or yoga mat to avoid disturbing housemates or downstairs neighbors. If you're looking for something a bit more compact and portable, Nextrino's InfinityBall 4-Speed Vibrating Massage Ball (Buy It, $40, was $60, amazon.com) is also a great option. (Related: This $6 Amazon Purchase Is the Single Best Recovery Tool I Own)
Now, thanks to a limited-time coupon, Nextrino's Vibrating Foam Roller is just $50 on Amazon — a full 50 percent off its original price. If your joints and muscles have been in need of some serious R&R, this tool might be your new savior.