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Rolflex Pre- Post Ride Massage Roller

Rolflex massage roller

Rolflex massage roller

Rolflex Massage Roller

I have re-started this article several times. Each time I stopped was due to  discovering yet another exercise and a whole new way of using this very versatile trigger point (TrP) release tool.

WHAT IS A TRIGGER POINT (TrP)?

According to triggerpointrelief.com, “the research is still underway,” but, what is known is that when pressed on, a trigger point feels like a “knot” with some amount of pain. I have included several Rolflex massage rollerreferences at the end of this article for those interested in researching this topic further. For all intents and purposes, let’s refer to a trigger point as a ‘muscle knot’. Quoting Tptherapy.com as well as including their diagram of trigger points (click for larger photo ->),

“The inside of the body is covered with soft tissue called fascia. This tissue covers every structure including organs, muscles, nerves and blood vessels. The fascia that covers your muscles is call myofascia.
 
When the myofascia is stressed from overuse or trauma, it can tear and adhere together.
These adhesions are called “trigger points” and can prevent the muscles from working well.
 
Trigger points lead to an increase in muscle stiffness and tenderness and a decrease in range-of-motion. In addition, the discomfort from trigger points can radiate from the adhesion. This is called referral pain and the most common pathways are shown in this image.”

For cyclists, TrP’s will usually occur in the legs and more than likely in the calves. Most cyclists that I have interviewed confirm this. So, in order to perform your best, you should roll-out your leg muscles, glutes and lower back both pre- and post ride. Rolling out prior to a ride will warm up the muscles and rolling out post ride will work all of the “knots” out.

Which brings us to the Rolflex.

Upon initial inspection, the Rolflex looks like a fairly complicated contraption with a few too manyRolflex massage roller moving parts. But, after looking at the included user’s manual and their new YouTube videos, this design really makes a lot of sense.

Most of their exercises use the Rolflex in the closed position, trapping the limb(s) between the green and black foam rollers. Adjusting the 6-position adjustment channel to the correct position, you then place the green roller against the TrP. Next, squeezing the ergonomic handle will apply the perfect amount of pressure against the TrP. Lastly, gradually move/wiggle the affected TrP side-to-side which will concentrate the pressure directly, or, you can remain motionless and concentrate the pressure onto the TrP until the TrP releases. A release usually takes 30-60 seconds. A ‘release’ is when the TrP basically vanishes!

HOW I USE THE Rolflex

I use my Rolflex in 4 different configurations. For the first 3, I use it in its disassembled form.

  1. Pre-ride: To warm up leg muscles, glutes and lower back, I use the part with the soft black foamRolflex massage roller roller. Using a medium pressure, I roll-out the muscles in a fast back and forth motion. When muscles are warmed up prior to a ride, pedaling seems much easier when jumping on the bike.
  2. Post-ride: I use the hard green roller to concentrate on TrP’s. I start by rolling out my quadriceps then hamstrings, then glutes followed by my lower back. I apply a firm pressure rolling-out the muscles in a slow back and forth motion. Lastly, I concentrate on my calves. I apply a very firm pressure using a very slow back and forth motion so that when I feel a TrP, I press firmly using the middle of the green roller directing all of the rollers pressure into the TrP. Usually after about 45 seconds the TrP has released. When doing my calves, I start with my left calf followed by the right, then back to the left finishing with the right. This insures that all of the TrP’s have released.
  3. At home: I have found a great TrP release exercise that isn’t even listed anywhere on the manufacturers website. For those that perform myofascial release, this is akin to sitting on the ground and placing a hard ball directly onto a TrP. I place the piece with the black foam roller over the edge of a table or desk. Next, I use the black handle as the hard ball. This works especially well when placing a TrP directly onto the hard rubber handle.
  4. General rolling out: or to work out any TrP in the arms, I use the Rolflex in its original (put together) configuration.

 

SUMMARY

I use the Rolflex every day and it really works well. It is a strong, solid and versatile tool with many different ways to use. I use it as a TrP release tool as well as a pre-ride warm up tool.

I recommend to start here and watch these instructional videos – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKUB5FHMab4&list=PLJbyUXmwW26TgRmwrbm1svcE0BDH-WK9Y

Also, please see my previous reviews where I compare other rollers and discuss their pros and cons.

  1. http://biketestreviews.com/self-massage-bars-rollers/ and
  2. http://biketestreviews.com/new-beastie-bar-from-rumble-roller/

Most importantly, I highly recommend that you order one. The MSRP is $59.95, but, check their website as they will periodically offer trade-show specials for $49.95. Check Amazon as well.

This is one slick mount and I highly recommend getting one for your own!

REFERENCES

Myofascial Release Therapy
http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/physical-therapy/myofascial-release-therapy

Unlock the Knots with Trigger Point Massage
http://elementsmassage.com/blog/unlock-the-knots-with-trigger-point-massage

Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy – What is it?
http://www.myofascialtherapy.org/myofascial-therapy/index.html

Acupuncture & Pain
http://www.pain-education.com/trigger-points.html

Basic Self-Massage Tips for Myofascial Trigger Points
https://www.painscience.com/articles/self-massage.php

Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome
https://www.painscience.com/tutorials/trigger-points.php

Trigger Point Relief
http://triggerpointrelief.com/cdrom/triggerpts.html


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supported by:
The Parts Shoppe Bearings and Grease

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