Size: 14” long
Weight: < 1 lb.
Obtained by: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
Relieve Knots and Promotes Muscle Recovery
The saying goes, “If you wake up in the morning and nothing hurts, you must be dead.” As cyclists, we always have some aches and pains from overused muscles. That’s why I’m constantly testing some sort of recovery tool, from foam rollers to massage guns to recovery boots. The goal for every one of these devices is to increase blood flow which in turn aids in muscle recovery.
Nic Bartolotta, a licensed Physical Therapist, invented the Rolflex’s Muscle Recovery Tool, and its like nothing I’ve ever tested or used. When I unboxed it, there was a card with a QR code stating to watch several “How To” videos before using. Well, don’t skip this step. The videos are very informative and show you how to use the product correctly for various ailments.
The Rolflex couldn’t have come at a better time, as I had just been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis in my left foot. An extremely tight calf muscle was one of the causes, and I couldn’t release the muscles with a foam roller or self massage.
After watching several videos, I found one that focused on plantar faciitis. I used the roller to find the knot in my upper calf and used trigger point release techniques several times a day, along with rolling my shin and foot. The knot disappeared after a couple of weeks of consistent use, and my plantar fasciitis has started to subside.
Depending on what body part you’re working on, the Rolflex easily adjusts using a ratcheting system. Also, optional medium and high-density rollers easily swap out if you desire more intensity.
How Does it Work?
According to the company’s literature, the root cause of many pain points is the tendons. Tendons are connective tissue that attaches muscles to bones and are made of thick bands of collagen fibers. Due to repetitive motion, they tend to break down, tear and degenerate over time which causes many issues. Tendons have poor circulation and reduced blood supply, so they risk not healing well. In addition, the Rolflex allows you to apply a deep tissue massage to the area that increases blood circulation to the tendons boosting oxygen and healing properties to fix the injury.
Here’s a complete library of videos produced by Rolfex that focus on specific injuries and ailments.
Why I Gave it 3.5 Stars
While I genuinely like the trigger point release capabilities of the roller, there were a few reasons I gave the tool a 3.5 star rating. First of all, it is designed only for use on extremities. There’s a separate SKU ($24.95) for a version that works the neck, back, and shoulder. Also, I feel the handle where you grasp should have padding. My fingers began to hurt, trying to keep tension on the rollers. Lastly, certain areas on the body were hard to maneuver, like working on the upper arm.
What Comes in the Box
In addition to the Rolflex roller, an extension handle for larger areas of your body is included in the box, enabling you to massage quads and hamstrings. The Rolflex weighs less than a pound, so you can take it to the gym or throw it in your suitcase. It would be nice to have a cloth carrying case to store the roller and extender.
I really like the ability to use the Rolflex for a trigger point release, which I can’t achieve with a foam roller or self-massage. If the company addresses a few of the points mentioned in my review, especially rubberizing the grip, I’d give the next version a 4.5 or even a 5-star rating.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.
Matthew Albert says
Would be great if it had a clamp to hold it to a table and an adjustable spring to keep tension constant.