Sometimes in life, strenuous never-ending workloads, lack of physical movement, poor posture and spinal misalignment can potentially lead to tense muscles that would rival those of an imposing, well-trained pitbull based on overcompensation due to muscular imbalances. Although it would be delightful to have our own personal sports massage therapist at hand on a regular basis, unfortunately that’s not a luxury we all have access to; a lack of time and cost can also be deciding factors in getting that much needed tension relief! There is a substitute however, that will help break down that frustrating inelastic, tough scar tissue and soften those stiff muscles, helping prevent those niggling aches and pains while optimising overall performance, enter the ‘Back Baller’ foam roller…
This is not like any other foam roller you may have experienced before; this one is capable of sliding from underneath whilst you are putting yourself through muscular ‘tissue torture’ (let’s face it, only the brave survive) it is concentrated, durable and precise. The reason being is that when a person is to use the ‘Back Baller’ it is fixed in one place which easily allows the individual to maintain focus on the specific, clustered area that they are attempting to release, enabling the tissues to become more pliable and therefore easier to stretch; thus improving flexibility.
Renowned Physical Therapist Gerard Hartmann who collaborated in the development of the Back Baller says, “what’s great about the Back Baller is the control and stability. Using your own body weight applies the forces needed to normalise the muscle tissue.” I would certainly agree with Gerald on this one! Due to the effectiveness of this product, not only has it become popular with the general gym goer but also top class athletes such as Wimbledon tennis champion Roger Federer world champion runner Sonia O’Sullivan and Pro-cyclist Eddie Dunbar. As well as individual athletes, Back Baller’s customers also include premiere sports teams such as Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Wasps rugby team, Miami Dolphins and many more well recognised groups of performance athletes. If you’d like to improve your own performance, read on.
The design is unique in its own way as there are not many foam rollers that look as dominating as this ‘body iron’ does; rolling out those stubborn muscle creases. It is big, powerful and potentially menacing for some but as we all know, it was created to help you get back to your best in terms of range of movement and flexibility. After using this cool piece of apparatus myself, I have to say that I was certainly appreciative of its simplicity and efficacy. The only disadvantage to the design is that it is quite large in size which makes it slightly more difficult to manoeuvre and carry around with you but perfect for those cosy nights in whilst watching your favourite TV series. Even though it is big, the two foam rollers ‘pop-out’ easily which means they can actually be used in a more singular fashion at your local studio for example, if desired.
With regards to the build, I can only imagine the longevity that the ‘Back Baller’ has to offer; it is strong, durable and sturdy like a ‘rhino on wheels’ in my opinion and if you’re looking to invest in a decent foam roller, I am sure it will do you justice for years to come.
Now is the big test; is this foam roller effective or not? The short answer is -yes. The reason why I feel this unique piece of equipment is effective is based on the strength and oomph it has behind it. Once I took to the Back Baller, within a few seconds, I realised that I was in for a tough-yet-therapeutic ride, one that was thoroughly needed and long overdue. As I gently glided my iliotibial band along the ridge of one side of the Back Baller, my muscles were soon awoken by the robust accuracy that was provided. Since it was some time since I last used a foam roller, I admit that I had to ease myself into this as I had unfortunately allowed my scar tissue to creep and build up to the point of reducing my range of movement -time for me to claim back my lost flexibility. After the ugly grimace on my face would decrease the longer I held a specific position, I felt the muscle tissue begin to relax and soften like a warm, overripe avocado which was gratifying to say the least. In terms of performance, in my opinion it ticked all the boxes. The only disadvantage is if you are looking to release tiny points in your muscle tissue, it can sometimes prove more challenging but it still completes the task.
Value: The Back Baller normally costs £90.00 to purchase and you can choose from either green or pink variations (whatever tickles your fancy). Currently though, they are selling this item on their website for significantly less at £55. From my experience using the Back Baller, I can say that it is durable, thorough and beneficial and is built to last many years of rolling so although the price may initially seem a little steep, it’s well worth investing in as it’ll likely save you from buying multiple foam rollers over a shorter period of time. If it’s good enough for Wimbledon champs, rugby players and top soccer pros, it’s good enough for me!
Summary: Admittedly I had neglected the area of foam rollers for quite a while and although it would be absolutely ideal to have my own personal massage therapist 3-4 times a week (ah bliss!), that’s simply not viable. On the other hand, this makes a fantastic, unlimited alternative to achieve similar results.