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A while back, I discovered the RAD Roller, a massage tool that allows users to perform self-myofascial release (SMR). This roller solved many of my chronic pain problems, but it was a little hard on the neck and the lower back. When I loaned my rollers to others to try, they also felt the RAD Roller went too deep. The new RAD Muscle Flushing Kit seems to have resolved all of these issues.
About the Kit
The people at RAD sent me the Muscle Flushing Kit to review, and I feel it fills the gaps left by the RAD Roller. This kit includes the RAD Rod and the RAD Helix, which can be used separately or together to create a rolling tool that meets a variety of needs. The spine-friendly Helix design is inspired by human DNA. It has a hollow core, just wide enough to slip the RAD Rod through. The RAD Rod is a steel rod with a softer, rotating outer layer.
LEFT: RAD Helix; RIGHT: RAD Rod
The RAD Helix
The Helix is a great starter tool for anyone who wants to build up to using the RAD Roller. To use the Helix, you place it under the desired body part and roll over it. When I reviewed the RAD Roller, I asked for other opinions and many people thought even the softest intensity was too much pressure. The Helix isn’t soft, but it’s softer than the RAD Roller and definitely softer than a lacrosse ball. It’s about as firm as a typical foam roller.
“The Helix is designed to work on the back muscles while protecting the spine from too much pressure. I found it to be especially effective on the lower back.”
What sets the Helix apart is its shape. It is designed to work on the back muscles while protecting the spine from too much pressure. I found it to be especially effective on the lower back, which was a sensitive area for the RAD Roller.
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The Helix also worked well on muscles that were sore from weightlifting. If you lift, I’m sure you understand what happens to the legs after leg day. It can be too painful to roll out with the Roller or the Rod, but if you slip the Helix over the Rod and roll it over your legs, it feels good. Alternatively, you can place the Helix on the floor and roll over it.
The RAD Rod
The RAD Rod has become one of my all-time favorite tools, especially for the neck. My neck is always tight and I am constantly rolling it out with the Rod. The first time I rolled my neck out with the Rod, I had neck pain for a couple of days because my muscles weren’t used to the stimulation. But after the first time, I only felt relief.
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I prefer a lot of pressure for SMR. The great thing about the Rod is you can press as hard or as light as you want. In addition to my neck, I use it on my legs and my back. After tripping and falling over someone’s foot (which actually caused a contusion in my sciatic nerve, according to my chiropractor), I immediately used the Rod to roll out my glutes and try to ease the pain. I’m not sure how much help it actually did, but it felt good.
“When used in addition to the RAD Roller, the Muscle Flushing Kit is an amazing system to help keep my muscles supple and healthy.”
I’ve also tried to use the Rod on my traps, but I could never get it positioned correctly. But after getting a kink on one side, I asked a friend to roll out my trap and it worked like a charm. Apparently, the Rod is also effective on the forearms. Although I haven’t tried it yet, it might be good for those days when your hands and forearms are shot from grip battles in the gi.
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My normal routine has been to work my neck with the Rod, get the top of the shoulders to my mid back with the RAD Roller, and then hit my lower back with the Helix. For a quick fix, I roll the Rod over my whole body to loosen up. When used in addition to the RAD Roller, the Muscle Flushing Kit is an amazing system to help keep my muscles supple and healthy.
I don’t think there is one massage tool for the whole body, but it seems like the people at RAD are working hard to relieve all our aches and pains. I’ve also been sent the RAD Point Release Kit to review, so check back soon to see what kind of wonders can be achieved with that tool!