Necessitated by increased training, required by my 2014 resolution to “not do anything stupid and stay injury free” and inspired by our recent podcast with Physical Therapist Joe Uhan, I’ve upgraded my traditional foam roller to a brutal beast of a device called the GRID.
I’ve had a traditional foam roller for years–it seems to be one of those products a runner purchases when they really start to take things seriously–and I’ve cycled through probably three or four of them. They get soft and filthy and they eventually lose their effectiveness.
To remedy that, I tried coring one out and sliding/gluing a PVC pipe in it, in hopes of retaining some rigidity, but that didn’t work as planned.
And frankly, I’ve always thought of TriggerPoint stuff as upsell gear at running stores. “Great, these shoes will be up at the counter for ya, have you ever tried the TriggerPoint system?” and blam, first time 5k’er goes home with a $40 death roller.
But it’s time, once again, to get serious, and open up my mind, and there’s nothing not serious about this torture device.
Some pieces of equipment hurt in a funny way, and some hurt in a good way, but that’s not the case here. This thing is brutal. If you’re looking to really grind in to your muscles and get deep into your tissue, I can’t imagine any non-human device doing it more effectively. After the tears have been shed, my veins have exploded, and my kids have heard the far reaches of profanity, I come out feeling better, and that’s what matters.
The GRID is essentially a PVC pipe covered in a hard foam. There are three sections to it (see diagram below), but I can’t tell a big difference between them. They all grind into my legs and butt, feel hard and bumpy, and do the trick.
There are a few different sizes of the GRID. I have the medium version.
Compared to my traditional foam roller, the GRID has a larger diameter (4″ vs 5.25″), and is
considerably shorter (36″ vs 13″).
I was initially skeptical of the shortness and whether I’d “roll off” of it, but that hasn’t posed a problem up to this point.
Actually, the shortness of it has caused me to use it more. My white foam roller is generally relegated to hiding in the closet, but with the GRID being so small, it’s found a place in the front room and I use it regularly.
For reference, I spend most of my time rolling my quads, hams, calfs, and occasionally my lower back.
My 13″ version runs about $40 vs about $15 for a foam roller.
If you’re serious about grinding into your legs pro or post run, keeping flexible, and staying injury free, you’re probably already using a foam roller. If you’re at that point, a move up to the GRID would be a great move. Yeah, it’s more expensive, but it’ll last twice as long and if you’re like me, you’ll use it more.
This thing works. It “gets into” the muscles and rolls through my ass fat better than a traditional roller, and I can feel the difference in my recovery after I use this (no matter how painful it is.)
However, if you’re new to rolling, start with a foam roller. This thing is too intense and you likely won’t be able to use it at all.
Thanks to the folks at TriggerPoint for providing this torture device to URP for review.