Rip tool vs Foam Roller
In the fitness industry, it happens every so often that some new “magical” product is invented which supposedly fixes all your troubles and makes you a better athlete. And then the marketing group of the company pays professional athletes to use their product, and invests millions of dollars in advertising the product. Sooner than you realize, every average Joe in this world who is exercising for more than 30 minutes a day is using this product and saying how great it is. But is it really as great and amazing as they say it is?
What about the science behind the product?
The “Foam Roller mania” started about 5 years ago in the United States and since then, the product went global and different companies are making millions of dollars by selling you a fancy #cylinder# that supposedly does wonders, but does it really work?
The answer to this question is not as simple as some “experts” might want you to think, because of a simple reason; there has not been enough research done on the foam roller and its effectiveness.
Let’s look at some claims that one of the leading foam roller manufacturers is
Using to support the benefits of foam rolling:
• increases blood flow and elasticity of tissue within muscle
• improves strength and range of motion
• improves balance and power
• improves Structural integrity (removing fascial dysfunctions)
But does it really? I don’t think so…
How could a foam roller, when its main treatment mechanism is compression of the tissue (by stimulation of mechanoreceptors), increase blood flow and elasticity within the muscle?
Blood flow might be increased through usage of the foam roller, but the foam roller is what is causing the actual damage to the muscle cells by compression, and this causes inflammation, which will then cause vasodilation of the vessels, and increase of the blood flow in the area.
We all know that creating additional inflammation to the primary injury is bad for the tissue. Inflammation equals scar tissue and scar tissue equals decreased blood flow, decreased range of motion, and even more inflammation, which will consequently cause further formation of scar tissue.
Foam rolling is definitely not able to increase elasticity within the muscle, but might be able to decrease muscular tonus. The only problem is that this is achieved through depletion of the nervous system. When you are foam rolling your body, you cause a lot of pain and consequently activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Overstimulation of the nervous system leads to big oxygen depletion, and in the long run, tension release through nervous system depletion.
Additionally, increased sympathetic activation causes release of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine. These 2 hormones have catabolic effects on the body, and prolong recovery time if they remain elevated for an extended period. As I mentioned before, the foam roller causes compression of the nerves and blood vessels, and it might cause ischemia (decrease in concentration of oxygen), which will also cause additional inflammation.
On the other side, the Rip Tool acts on the nervous system through stimulation of the parasympathetic system. This allows the body to calm down and relax. It also causes the vasodilation (w/o inflammation), and decreases the release of stress hormones, which promotes the anabolic (building) state in the body. This is the preferred state of every athlete, since it allows an athlete’s body to recover faster.
Another claim that the foam roller manufacturers are making is that foam rolling has a positive effect on the structural integrity of the body. Basically, they are trying to say that foam rollers are able to influence and repair fascial dysfunctions.
Fascia surrounds every muscle, muscle fiber, tendon, nerves, ligaments and organs. If we look at the anatomy of fascia, we see that in order to be able to influence/break the adhesions in the fascia, you have to be able to penetrate the tissue at different depths. This is simply impossible with the use of a foam roller.
Unlike the foam roller, the Rip tool is able to penetrate into tissue, and break fascial adhesions between muscles, ligaments, tendons and even muscle fibers. The process of breaking scar tissue with cross friction is simple and painless. This has a positive effect on the joint and muscular range of motion, and allows muscle to perform at its maximal potential.
Before I conclude, let me introduce you to some other benefits that come from using the Rip Tool over the foam roller.
The initial cost of the RIP tool might be higher, but on the long run, it will actually cost much less than foam rollers, because it will last forever (as long as you take good care of it), where a foam roller needs to be replaced every couple of months. Another plus is that travelling with the Rip tool is much easier than travelling with a foam roller, because it doesn’t take up as much space as the foam roller, and this might be a very important factor to some athletes that are constantly on the road.
This article clearly shows that Foam rolling might not be the best recovery and injury prevention modality, because it is painful, causes inflammation, increases release of 2 very intense stress hormones, and also compresses nerves and blood vessels (tissue ischemia).
Additionally, foam rollers are not able to break adhesions or influence fascia; but using the Rip tool instead will increase blood flow and tissue oxygenation, through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. The Rip tool will also break fascial adhesions and decrease old scar tissue in the muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Because of these reasons, I think that the Rip Tool is an undoubtedly superior muscle recovery and injury prevention tool, in comparison with the foam roller.
But who am I to tell you what is right/wrong, better or worse?!? Do your own research, look at the facts and never trust someone’s opinion. Trust the anatomy and physiology of the human body, because they never lie. 🙂 check out . Www rip tool . Ie