By now, you know full well that a couple of toe touches and quad stretches after a workout, run, or ride won’t cut it when it comes to recovery. To boost your performance and feel better, you have to go deeper. That’s where foam rolling comes in, and in terms of bang for your buck, these humble cylinders are hard to beat: they’re easy to use, surprisingly effective, and way cheaper than a deep-tissue massage. The perfect recovery tool—right?
The folks at TRX, the company that turned strength training on its head with its innovative suspension system, saw room for improvement. Enter the Rocker, TRX’s new recovery tool that builds on the best parts of foam rolling with a few key refinements.
Break It Up
To fully understand what makes the Rocker so effective, it’s helpful first to grasp the basics of how foam rolling works. “Foam rolling can enhance the mechanical processes of your muscles by reducing tissue adhesions,” says Chris Nentarz, a physical therapist and CrossFit coach based in Buffalo, New York. “It goes beyond the fascial layers, working with your nervous system alongside your muscles.” In other words, foam rolling can increase mobility by breaking up stickiness between fascia, the thin tissues that encase your muscles, and the muscles themselves. “It helps you move better, so you feel better and perform better at the activities you love,” he says.
Rock, Don’t Roll
Nentarz is a fan of using foam rolling to effect change all over the body, but traditional rollers have their drawbacks, he says. Namely, they can be tricky to customize to your needs and fall short when it comes to pinpointing hard-to-reach areas, due to their consistency in both texture and firmness. That’s where the Rocker is different.
“Rocking is a highly effective technique for getting hyper-focused release,” says Nentarz. That specialized motion is made possible by the Rocker’s distinctive shape, which is more oval than circular, with two semi-flat sides, one curved side, and one pointed edge. Rocking, says Nentarz, makes it easier to apply pressure on a specific area, in turn providing deeper muscle release. Besides allowing forward-backward rocking, the Rocker adds stability with a flatter profile that lets users oscillate side to side along specially designed ridges, further deepening the release in a given area.
Pick Your Poison
The Rocker features three distinct intensity zones, which supply varying levels of release to meet your specific needs. The low-intensity zone, with a smooth contour and short, tightly spaced ridges, offers a gentle release for sensitive areas and is great for increasing blood flow before a workout. The medium-intensity zone, composed of denser foam and textured with more pronounced, widely spaced ridges, can provide deeper release. The final zone, which TRX has dubbed The Edge, is as pointed as its name suggests, giving users the most focused, highest-intensity pressure. It’s designed to target hard-to-reach areas or specific muscles that need more pressure to fully release, like the hamstrings.
Nentarz loves The Edge’s ability to target the upper neck, which is often left tight from slouching at a desk or looking down at a phone screen. “It’s tough to get there with other devices,” he says. “But with the Rocker, we have a more defined pressure point to create the release that we want.”
Ready to try it out? The Rocker is available in two sizes—13 and 26 inches ($ 50 and $ 70, respectively)—and comes with a host of added benefits, including one year of complimentary access to TRX's premium fitness app and a series of free instructional videos detailing how to get the most out of your Rocker.
For Nentarz, it's the all-in-one recovery tool he's been waiting for. “The Rocker offers so many options and techniques to keep your tissues moving," he says. "It removes the barriers to effective self-treatment."
As the global leader in functional training, TRX offers the world’s most effective training equipment, training, and education to help everyone, of any fitness level, become a better version of themselves. TRX is also the number one choice of specialized education courses for fitness professionals.