STI - Rumble Roller - 12" Extra Firm Black
STI 12-inch Rumble Roller relieves muscular pain and tightness. STI Rumble Roller is the one and only deep-tissue roller. The RumbleRoller Manipulates Soft Tissue - Like a Massage Therapist!
The surface of the RumbleRoller contains specially designed bumps that are firm, but flexible, much like the thumbs of a massage therapist.
As you roll over the top of the RumbleRoller, the bumps continuously knead the contours of your body, gently stretching soft tissue (muscle and fascia) in multiple directions. This action erodes trigger points, helps restore flexibility, and brings quick relief to common types of muscular pain. By design, the RumbleRoller's bumps are firmer than muscle tissue, but much softer than bone, so they deflect out of the way if they contact your spine or other bony protrusions.
Through simple techniques, you can control the amount of pressure the bumps apply to your body. The bumps are closely spaced to one another (less than 2" apart), so several of them simultaneously contact your body during most exercises. However, with a slight shift of your body, you can reduce your area of contact with the RumbleRoller, which increases pressure and provides deeper, more penetrating relief.
Common Foam Rollers Compress Soft Tissue
Physical therapists, trainers, and athletes use foam rollers to relieve muscular pain and tightness (often called "adhesions", "knots", or "trigger points"). But conventional foam rollers have smooth surfaces that further compress soft tissue. Rolling on top of them improves blood flow and tissue flexibility, but the effect is limited and relatively superficial, unless you spend a lot of time rolling.
The RumbleRoller was created to perform this therapy more effectively.
Add Another Dimension to Your Foam Roller Program
The RumbleRoller's massaging action can be further intensified by changing your movement from a back-and-forth rolling motion to a side-to-side rocking motion. That's because the RumbleRoller's bumps have an asymmetrical shape that allows them to flex more easily in one direction. During rolling movements (i.e. the most common roller exercises, with the roller moving beneath you), the bumps flex relatively easily, and provide a wiping-type massage pressure. However, if you rock from side-to-side toward the RumbleRoller's ends, the bumps are forced to flex in a direction in which they're designed to be somewhat stiffer. This creates a deeper "digging" pressure.
This rocking technique nearly doubles the number of ways you can use a foam roller. It's especially effective for penetrating dense tissue like that of your calves, as well as hard-to-roll areas like your upper lats and even your neck. For specific details, please see our Techniques pages.
The RumbleRoller Outlasts Conventional Foam Rollers
Before creating the RumbleRoller, we spent years studying other foam rollers, and testing many different types of advanced polymers. Our material research resulted in a product that has several times the strength and tear resistance of conventional rollers, has a wonderful feel, permanently retains its shape, and is guaranteed to outlast and outperform any foam roller that you've ever used.
The RumbleRoller's smooth, nonporous surface repels most dirt. It's also water-proof and latex free, and includes a molded-in antimicrobial additive that helps prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus. To clean your RumbleRoller, simply wipe it down as needed with soap and water or any common household cleaner.
RumbleRoller Safety Information
Both versions of the RumbleRoller (original density and extra-firm) have been tested by an independent laboratory in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 for lead and phthalates. All toxins measured below detectible levels, which the CPSIA considers safe for use by children age 12 and under. Although CPSIA testing is not mandatory for sporting goods, this information may be important to you because these toxins are known to negatively impact human health in many ways.
Rumble Roller Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a bumpy roller better than a smooth one?
The bumps reach areas of your body that smooth rollers can't, work on deeper layers of muscle (like deep-tissue massage), stretch your fascia in multiple directions (like cross-frictional massage), and are more effective at releasing trigger points.
Does it hurt?
It's less painful than it looks because of the way the bumps flex. If you're already using a foam roller, you'll have no trouble adapting to the RumbleRoller. If you've never used a foam roller before, it may be painful at first but will become more pleasurable over time.
Couldn't I get the same effect rolling on a tennis ball?
A tennis ball makes an economical massage tool, but it has some limitations. The RumbleRoller's bumps are considerably narrower than a tennis ball, so they dig deeper into more areas of your body. The RumbleRoller is also more efficient at scanning your body for new problem areas.
I roll on bare PVC pipe. Why should I switch to a RumbleRoller?
The problem with PVC pipe is that its hard surface doesn't conform to many areas of your body, such as around spinal processes and near muscle attachments. It gets high-centered on bony areas, and doesn't put enough pressure on the low spots. You'll get much better results with a RumbleRoller.
Is the center of the RumbleRoller hollow?
No, the RumbleRoller has a solid core made from a resilient grade of high-density EVA foam. The core and outer shell were both carefully engineered to give the RumbleRoller maximum durability and optimal feel.
Do the bumps flatten out over time?
No, the bumps permanently retain their shape and resiliency. If you look closely at the surface of a used RumbleRoller, you may see tiny little wrinkles on the bumps, but they don't effect its performance.
Why is the RumbleRoller more expensive than other rollers?
The RumbleRoller is a more durable product that's built from higher quality materials. It doesn't break down and doesn't need periodic replacement like conventional foam rollers, so it's a smarter long-term investment.
Should I buy the blue or black RumbleRoller?
For most people, including professional athletes, the regular density (blue) RumbleRoller is more effective. Its bumps are more flexible and more actively grip and manipulate soft tissue. The bumps on the extra-firm (black) RumbleRoller are considerably stiffer, and give it a "spikier" feel.
The jeopardy of going too firm is that it may be too painful -- not too painful to use, but too painful to use correctly. For best results, you want to keep the muscle you're massaging relaxed and pause long enough on each trigger point to allow it to release.
You may prefer the black RumbleRoller if you're primarily using it on thicker muscles like glutes or hamstrings, are trying to dig deeply in around the hip capsule, are working on scar tissue from prior surgeries, or are accustom to rolling on PVC pipe. Otherwise, they strongly recommend the blue.
After I get used to the blue RumbleRoller, should I upgrade to the black?
Not necessarily. With regular foam rollers, the conventional advice has been to transition to progressively firmer rollers. The RumbleRoller is different. The blue one is pretty firm on its own, and going firmer may not be an advantage for you. If you do buy both, consider a Full-size blue plus a Compact black. That's a popular combination among people who like the blue for most body parts but occasionally want to dig hard into a problem spot.
If you're using your RumbleRoller regularly, your tissue quality should improve over time and require less stimulus to maintain its condition. With more experience on your blue RumbleRoller, you'll also learn to get more out of it. For example, most simple rolling movements distribute your weight fairly evenly across multiple RumbleRoller bumps. But by subtly turning or twisting your body, you'll be able to focus most of the pressure on a single bump and dig deeper into the muscle.
Should I buy the Full-size or Compact RumbleRoller?
The larger surface area of the Full-size RumbleRoller gives you a lot more room for turning and twisting movements and for transitioning between different exercises. If you plan to keep your RumbleRoller in one location (e.g. at home) and have the space for it, they definitely recommend the Full-size model. But if you plan to travel with your RumbleRoller or keep it in your gym bag, go with the Compact.
Is it better to use my RumbleRoller before or after my workout?
STI recommends boths. A couple minutes on the RumbleRoller before your workout (or even between sets) can help prepare your body for movement. Between workouts, rolling will help relax your body and enhance recovery. Any time is good for rolling.
How much time should I spend rolling?
Go by feel rather than time. A couple minutes per body part is generally enough to ensure progress, but your needs may differ. For best results, focus on the exercises that provide you with the most relief and do them consistently.
Is it better to roll fast or slow?
Slower is almost always better. Rolling quickly back and forth will stimulate your nervous system and increase blood flow, but it won't do much to release trigger points. Instead, roll slowly and stop completely whenever you feel a tender area. Keep pressure on the spot and let the bumps sink in as deeply as possible. Gradually the muscle will begin to loosen and the pain will begin to dissipate.
Why do I get bruises when I use my RumbleRoller?
Some individuals are more susceptible to bruising than others, and it's not unusual to experience bruising after any type of deep-tissue massage. Advanced age, nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, and use of blood thinning medications or corticosteroids all increase the likeliness of bruising. The amount of bruising, though, should decrease considerably with regular use of the roller. To minimize bruising, use shorter rolling sessions, drink extra water, and get plenty of rest. And if you've been using a black RumbleRoller, consider switching to blue; it's much less likely to cause bruising.
Is there a way I can use the RumbleRoller on my upper traps?
Hold your RumbleRoller against a wall with one hand, then step back from the wall and angle your body into the RumbleRoller. Adjust your positioning as needed to best hit the desired spot. This technique works with other body parts as well, and allows you to get into positions that would be difficult to assume on the floor.
Is the RumbleRoller good for thoracic extensions?
Yes! This movement, in case you're not familiar with it, is used to mobilize the thoracic vertebra and is a favorite of many physical therapists. Start by sitting on the floor with the roller behind you and perpendicular to your body. Lean back until the roller contacts your back, then arch back further on the roller by fully extending your thoracic spine. Pause for several seconds at full extension. During this movement, your hips should stay on the ground and the roller should remain stationary.
The RumbleRoller is perfect for thoracic extensions because its bumps partially grip the vertebra they're in contact with, which better encourages motion in the adjacent (higher) vertebra. At the same time, the bumps on the bottom of the RumbleRoller help hold its position on the floor. Smooth rollers tend to slip out from under people doing thoracic extensions on smooth floors, but that's not likely to happen with the RumbleRoller.
Note: For any type of thoracic extension or spinal manipulation, STI recommends their standard density (blue) roller instead of the extra-firm (black). The blue is more effective for these movements because it's a bit "grippier," and less likely to cause pain as you press your spine against it.
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About Ron and Lori Johnson
STI selects products for this site based on the recommendations of Ron and Lori Johnson. Ron is an engineer and designer who has spent more than 20 years consulting for some of the world’s foremost fitness and nutritional products companies. His wife, Lori, is a CPA and also an ACE-certified personal trainer. Ron and Lori maintain a very active lifestyle, and also created the popular websites NutritionData.com and SearchLever.com.
Thanks to their many fitness industry contacts, Ron and Lori get early access to a lot of new fitness products. Together, they study and/or test virtually every new product that enters the market. In their opinion, many fitness products are a waste of your hard-earned money. However, every now and then, they discover a product that's good enough to earn a permanent spot in their own home gym. And whenever possible, STI makes that product available.