This Recovery Tool Is the Only Thing That's Helped Ease My Forearm Pain

The aches and stiffness from my workouts were exacerbated by my desk job, but this $80 massager finally saved me. 

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Shape Certified: Rolflex

It's a beautiful feeling when you start to feel and become stronger in your workouts, whether it's by grabbing heavier dumbbells, loading up the barbell with that extra weight plate, or challenging your endurance with max reps. One thing you may notice along the way, though, is that your grip strength doesn't always improve in tandem with the other targeted muscle groups you're building.

Your glutes can handle those 35-pound dumbbells, but can your fingers, hands, and forearms stand up to them for the allotted reps? The answer, at least for me, was a firm nope. At least not without cranky, stiff forearms that were only made worse thanks to all the typing (sometimes feverishly, I've been told) that I do daily at my job.

But thanks to one very special recovery tool I found on Amazon, I'm able to type (and lift heavy!) comfortably. And thank goodness, so that I can tell you all about the solution I finally found to my problem: the Rolflex Arm & Leg Massager.

Rolflex Original Arm & Leg Massager Key Features

  • How I tested: I've had the Rolflex for several years now and use it weekly to monthly depending on what my body needs from.
  • Perfect for: anyone working on grip strength (most people!), weight lifters, those with desk and/or typing-focused jobs; those with tendonitis or carpal tunnel or similar (confer with your doctor).
  • What you'll love: the ability to easily narrow or widen the grip.
  • Keep in mind: You need to have enough existing grip strength to hold the top of the tool together to use it.
  • Where to use it: forearms, upper arms, hands, calves, thighs — even your feet.

Rolflex The Original Arm & Leg Massager

Shape Certified: Rolflex

Rolflex Original Arm & Leg Massager Review

I've been strength training for some time, but during the early days of the pandemic — when everyone had to rush to buy at-home equipment or use what they had at home — I went from mostly cable machines and mini barbells at the gym to attempting to replicate the same weight training at home with dumbbells and kettlebells. My hands and forearms took the brunt of all this heavy grip work, and I found myself with tight wrists and forearms (most apparent on the sides of my forearms).

At the same time, like so many others, I found myself with a less-than-ergonomic WFH set-up, and as a digital editor, my entire workday is spent typing. Together, my workouts and work life were wreaking havoc on my upper body. I tried lots of wrist stretches, and while they would feel great in the moment — quadruped position, palms on the floor, fingers pointing toward knees is a fan favorite for me — the dull ache would always persist.

That's when I discovered the Rolfex Arm & Leg Massager. I knew I needed something that would be more trigger point than a gentle massage, and this tool offers both. One side has three stiff trigger point massagers, and the other has a smooth foam roller for consistent pressure. While I use the recovery tool mostly on my forearms, you can use it almost anywhere on your limbs: hands, feet, upper and lower arms, and legs. For those who don't love to (or can't) lie down to foam roll, the Rolflex massager is a great way to provide myofascial release while upright or sitting.

Plus, while the device may look strange at first, it's definitely NOT an infomercial gimmick. The Rolflex Arm & Leg Massagers was co-created by a physical therapist and a sports massage therapist and has been used by both professional and Olympic athletes, so you know it's legit.

I used the massager a ton when I first got it, but now I'm able to utilize it as a maintenance tool in my regular recovery routine; this way, I'm not forced to modify my workout or goals just because of arm or wrist aches. Still, it's always my go-to when I have back-to-back lifting sessions or a particularly busy period at work and I need immediate relief for my sore forearms. Ultimately, I'm just glad my achy limbs are no longer getting in the way of my work productivity or my training goals thanks to this easy-to-use tool.

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