Foam rollers are normally smooth or textured and vary in firmness from soft to medium to firm. The most firm and textured rollers are usually reserved for serious athletes, beat up weekend warriors like me, and people who have been foam rolling for a while.
That brings us to the Rumble Roller: it looks like a torture device from the dark ages and at first go your muscles might tell you it feels like one, too. It is, however, one of the most popular foam rollers out there.
So, are those raving about it just a bunch of sadists or is this scary looking piece of massage equipment really as good as they say? This review should help you decide.
What Sets Good Foam Rollers Apart?
A good roller should maintain its firmness when put to its intended use. What you do not want is a roller that says it’s one thing but actually turns out to be another.
It’s also very convenient if the roller brand gives you a choice of size. A smaller size is ideal for travel and massaging smaller areas such as calves, while longer rollers can easily roll larger areas of your body such as the entire length of your spine
The ridges, bumps, knobs and spikes on textured rollers give a deep targeted massage. A good textured roller stands up to the pressure you apply to it without having its ridges, etc. squashed or pushed aside by your weight rolling over them. The roller should last a few years without cracking or having pieces of foam fall off with repeated use.
While foam rollers are not bank-breaking, it’s always good to know that you’re getting your money’s worth. A good roller with a higher price tag should give you better quality to match.
Rumble Roller Review
The Rumble Roller is designed to feel like the fingers of a massage therapist as you roll over it. It has characteristic “high profile bumps”, a design intended to stretch fascia and muscle, provide concentrated pressure during a massage, and get to soft tissue around the spine, pelvis, scapula and other bony areas. The bumps are actually made to be softer than bone but firmer than the tissues making up your muscles.
It comes in two different densities and each density comes in two different sizes. The blue roller is softer while the black one is firmer, as it is 36% denser. Both the blue and black models come in 12” x 5” and 31” x 6” sizes.
The rollers are constructed with a solid core of high density EVA foam while their surface is made of a smooth and non-porous (water-proof) material. The solid core means it’s less likely to deform with use. This roller has been independently tested for toxic contaminants and deemed safe for use by children.
They are also latex-free with an antimicrobial additive molded into the surface material. (Nice if you use it when sweaty after working out like I do.)
While some users say the material wrinkles with use, they and the manufacturer also point out that it does not affect the roller’s performance.
These rollers are definitely at the higher end of the foam roller scale but most customer feel generally satisfied that it is worth the price and performs well.
Check out this very thorough review and instructional video from Iron Edge.
The roller’s surface is hygienic and easy to clean since it repels dirt and is designed to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Both of these features are great when you consider that you are using it on the floor as part of your sweaty workout routine. When it comes to your routine, the manufacturers of this roller have got you covered with an easy to follow set of instructions on how to roll.
It’s “scary” bumps penetrate deep into tissue for effective myofascial release while the choice of size and firmness means you can find one that’s just right for your needs. The complete set (if you are able to purchase it) makes foam rolling very convenient as you can switch rollers to suit the area you are massaging and the intensity of massage you want.
The main negative is that it just may be too much for some people. If you’re sensitive to pressure or new to rolling this may not be the roller for you. If that describes you, I’d recommend something like the less intense TriggerPoint GRID or the smooth OPTP Pro-Roller.
A few reviewers point out that the roller smells strongly at first but that this wears away within a few days. Another possible downside is the cost as this roller ranks among the most expensive. I think the quality and durability make it worth the extra spend, but you'll have to make that determination yourself.
I would definitely recommend this roller for seasoned users (“rollers”?) or anyone that likes deep, penetrative pressure to ease their knots. It’s a quality, durable product with a great track record. But, it you’re new to foam rolling or sensitive to pressure, try some of the other options I gave above or in our top 10 review.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com