Over the past few years, we have experienced a rise in popularity of exercises and modalities related to recovery. This trend is likely due to the popularity of HIIT training programs and the shot in the arm – or rather ON your arm – from fitness tracking technology that has increased mainstream awareness of daily movement & exercise.
Self-myofascial release, or SMR, performed with a foam roller was one of the first active recovery modalities to hit the mainstream. Now fitness and technology are coming together in the recovery space to offer many more products that take a more passive approach to recovery such as Hydromassage, air compression limb sleeves, and vibration massage tools. These smart recovery tools add a layer of luxury to recovery modalities both in relaxation and price point.
For those looking to increase the effectiveness of their foam rolling routine without breaking the bank, the HighRoller is your best bet. The HighRoller has been referred to as “the most ergonomic foam roller on the market” because it allows the user to access the roller in three positions – high, low, and angled. By adjusting the configuration of the HighRoller, the user has more control over the amount of body weight and pressure applied to the muscle belly.
The high position of the HighRoller is great for calves, quads, chest, and triceps. It is also puts the foam roller in a position to be more accessible to those who have trouble getting up and down from the floor. The low position provides slight elevation and is ideal for the glutes, lats, and calves.
The most unique configuration of the HighRoller is the angled position which is very effective for the myofascial release of the muscles of the outer thigh. The Vastus Lateralis muscle of the quadriceps group as well as the iliotibial (IT) band of connective tissue run along the outer aspect of the thigh and take a beating during heavy cardio and leg training. This is the reason that the outer thighs are typically very sensitive to myofascial release techniques.
The angled position of the HighRoller allows you to release this sensitive area with light to moderate pressure as you sit upright. As opposed to a side lying position on a traditional foam roller that requires the user to either a) put most of their body weight onto the roller which can exacerbate the level of discomfort – which then leads to b) forcing the user to support a large portion of their body weight with their upper body to minimize the amount of pressure on the IT band. This can be very uncomfortable and can make it hard for the user to relax. Relaxation of the muscle group you are rolling is crucial to the effectiveness of the myofascial release exercise. By performing the lateral thigh / IT band release with the HighRoller – you eliminate a great deal of the discomfort of body positioning so that you can relax the upper body while gradually breaking up tissue adhesions with more control of the pressure.
Check out the videos below from Power Systems Master Coach Julie Johnston and Camp Rhino Physical Therapist, Jack Templeton, DPT for ideas on how to take on your foam rolling and recovery routine with the HighRoller.