Foam rollers are having a moment. What used to be an insignificant piece of gym equipment is now being compared to the likes of hand-held massagers in terms of muscle tension relief.
Foam rolling used to be a technique known to and used only by physical therapists, athletes, and personal trainers. But due to their availability and affordable price, foam rollers are now popular tools for warm-ups and post-workout recovery.
Vibrating Foam Rollers and Myofascial Release
Therapists refer to foam rolling as the myofascial release (MFR) method because it targets myofascial tissues, which connect and wrap your muscles. Repetitive motions, poor posture, general fatigue, injury to intervertebral disks, and stress-related muscle tension cause myofascial pain.
Tightened muscle areas become sensitive areas referred to as trigger points. These trigger points can cause pain throughout an entire muscle group, sometimes quite far from its actual source. For instance, the pain you feel along the back of your legs may be due to tightness in the glute muscles. Or "knots" in the trapezius muscles can cause headaches. Pain in other areas is called referred pain.
Therapists can "release" or alleviate this pain through the MFR technique using gentle, focused, and sustained pressure from their hands or elbows or by using a foam roller or therapy balls.
Benefits of Foam Rolling
Foam rolling and MFR can soften or loosen up tight tissues and return them to their proper position.
They also aid in:
- The delayed onset of muscle soreness
- Easing muscle fatigue
- Speeding up post-exercise recovery
- Improving blood flow
- Restoring range of motion
Today we are looking at the LifePro 4-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller and letting you know if it might be the best vibrating foam roller for you. If you're looking for a mid-range priced option with the features you need it might be the perfect choice for you.
LifePro 4-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
Post-exercise recovery equipment provider LifePro calls its foam roller the Surger. It’s made of black soft plastic and measures 11.5 inches long and 5.5 inches wide.
On one end of the roller, there's a red button, which you press to turn it on. You press the button a second time for low-intensity vibration. Press again and again to increase intensity.
The roller has two types of protrusions. Half of it is lined with tubular ridges, which resemble finger-like pressure. Meanwhile, the other half has hexagonal knobs, which can feel like human fingertips when rolled on your body.
LifePro offers the Surger with a 100% "no-questions-asked" warranty for life. Just be sure to register on their website. This warranty is accompanied by access to their online library of workout videos.
The roller is powered by a 10,400 milliamp-hour battery and vibrates in four levels of intensity. This high-capacity power source makes it possible for the roller to operate up to four hours without recharging as long as it's turned off after use.
The roller comes with a charger and a drawstring bag so you can bring it to the gym or wherever you travel. Four green dots light up on the other end of the roller where the charging port is when it's fully charged.
You can target one specific muscle group at a time with the help of the built-in timer that can be set for 60, 90, and 120 seconds. The timer buttons are found around the red power button.
LifePro recommends the Surger after various forms of physical activity from cardiovascular exercises to weightlifting, CrossFit workouts, yoga, or jiu-jitsu.
LifePro’s Surger is among mid-range priced vibrating models and doesn’t go over $110.
Athletes using the Surger said that the roller has been effective for their pre and post-CrossFit workouts. They find the level 4 vibration very soothing to their backs, knees, IT bands, and hips. They also appreciate its long-lasting battery and the way that it charges quickly.
Personal trainers who have tried the product said they didn’t experience any irritation when they used the Surger directly on their skin, particularly on the front and back of their legs.
Separately, there are some reports about disconnected batteries and motors and the vibration stopping before the set time.
What are the LifePro Surger’s four vibration levels?
The Surger’s vibrations steadily increase as you go through its settings. Level 1 is 28 hertz. Level 2 is 32 hertz. Level 3 is 34 hertz. Lastly, its highest intensity is 38 hertz.
Is a vibrating foam roller better than a regular foam roller?
You can use the Surger like a normal foam roller, without turning on the vibrator. But using it at the intensity that suits you can relax your muscles more.
Using vibrating rollers before workouts can result in "a warmer muscle" as the vibration causes the muscles to contract and allows for more blood flow. This, in turn, helps loosen up your muscles and joints.
In addition to this, researchers at the University of North Carolina compared regular foam rollers with vibrating ones in 2015. They concluded that the vibrating rollers helped their users achieve a greater range of motion and higher pain threshold compared to traditional foam rollers.
Can LifePro’s Surger ease sciatica pain?
It can, and some customers experiencing such pain appreciated the varying intensities of the Surger's vibration. Hence, it can go gentle on more sensitive or tender areas and stronger in others. It's also strong enough to support the weight of users who are more on the larger side.
Sciatic nerve pain also referred to as sciatica, is felt along the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in your lower back then runs down through your buttocks, hips, legs, and feet.
The pain results from a slipped or herniated disc causing pressure on a nerve root, narrowing of the spine, slipping of the vertebra, or a bone spur compressing the nerve.
The LifePro 4-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller is a great choice for anyone looking to add a foam roller to their home gym. Remember for those new to foam rolling, prepare your body for the process by using a softer roller available in your gym before working with a denser roller.
Don’t roll over areas where you have an injury without your doctor or trainer's permission.
Take one to three minutes to apply the roller on each muscle group. Hold the roller onto a tight or tender area for 30 to 60 seconds before continuing.
Remember to relax your muscles because contracted muscles are harder to massage.