The original RumbleRoller is one of my favorite torture, I mean, self-myofascial release devices. Unlike traditional foam rollers, the RumbleRoller is knobby, so it doesn’t just smash your tissue, but actually kneads it in the manner a therapist would. It’s both a fantastic and horrible device, as anyone who has tried it can attest to.
So, imagine my “delight” when I learned that RumbleRoller has expanded its line of therapy tools to include massage balls and hand tools. I was sent the following items to review. (All of these can be purchased and used individually, as well.)
- Original Beastie Ball with Detachable Base
- X-Firm Beastie Ball with Detachable Base
- Beastie Bar and Stands
- Beastie Hook
The Beastie balls are RumbleRoller’s foray in the world of massage therapy balls. The balls are three inches in diameter with well-spaced, tall bumps. The spacing and size of the bumps allows for you to get deep into your tissue without the aforementioned mashing ofall your fascia. The surface of the ball is non-absorbent, and therefore easy to wash off, so you can use it post-workout and not create some sort of portable bacteria ball.
The Beastie balls come in two densities, Original and X-Firm. Original is described as “firm but flexible,” whereas X-Firm is described as “extremely firm.” I think the italics on “extremely” are warranted. The X-Firm is darn hard. I wouldn’t use the X-Firm on any body part where you already have tenderness, but the X-Firm felt great for digging into my traps.
In addition to the ball itself, RumbleRoller also offers a detachable base. The base can keep the ball from rolling around if you want to attack your glutes or any other part of your underside. The base also allows you to attach the ball to the wall or to the RumbleRoller track system, which I’ll explain later.
Next up in the new line-up from RumbleRoller is the Beastie Bar, which also comes with stands. If you’ve ever used The Stick, then this is a little bit like that, but with some distinct advantages.
The Beastie Bar features two Beastie balls toward its center. At either end of the bar are handgrips, so you can use the bar to roll on your quads, calves, or any other part of the body that you can reach, sit on, or squash yourself against. The spacing of the balls also works well for massaging your spinal erectors. So any of you who’ve spent your time taping tennis balls together, you can now upgrade to something more professional looking (and more effective). The depth of the bumps on the balls also allows you to have a very different experience from a device like The Stick, which is smooth and flat.
One other feature the Beastie Bar has that’s nice is the stands. The handgrips clip into the stands, so you can place the Beastie Bar on the floor and it will stay put while you roll your calf on it, for example. I really enjoyed this feature and found the Beastie Bar to be a great overall piece of equipment. It is bulkier than The Stick, but still quite portable, and I preferred the depth of massage the Beastie Bar gave me, as well.
One thing to note, the Beastie Bar seems to only come with the X-Firm balls from what I can tell, so keep that in mind as far as which part of your body you will find this most useful for.
The Beastie Hook I can best compare to the TheraCane. The Hook is shaped and sized very similarly to the TheraCane, but is made out of solid steel rather than plastic, and is able to hold a Beastie Ball at the end of it. Since you could use either an Original or X-Firm Beastie Ball, this allows for you to vary the pressure and intensity of your self-therapy.
I found the Hook worked on my body quite well, whereas my husband (who is nine inches taller and a hundred pounds heavier than me) found that the TheraCane fit him better. Since they are incredibly similar in shape and size, we are guessing it has to do with the differences in handle placement between the two and our personal difference in flexibility and mobility. So, if you can, I would recommend trying out both these devices before you decide on one of them. It’s possible either or both of them would work just fine for you.
In addition to the items I received, RumbleRoller also offers single- and double-track wall systems. These track systems allow you to position your balls or bar at whatever height you choose and press your body against them. Given that I often come across my husband jamming himself up against a wall, crushing some poor massage ball, I think we may just have to investigate these track systems. To be clear though, I did not review this particular device, so I can neither recommend nor advise against it.
I would definitely recommend checking out the Beastie Bar, Hook, and balls, though. They offer some improvements over other tools in the self-myofascial release market that many athletes will find beneficial.
- The Original Beastie Ball with Detachable Base is available for $24.95 at Amazon.com.
- The X-Firm Beastie Ball with Detachable Base is available for $24.95 at Amazon.com.
- The RumbleRoller Beastie Bar and Stand is available for $59.95 at Amazon.com.
- The RumbleRoller Beastie Hook is available for $29.95 at Amazon.com.