I've been a dedicated foam roller for a long time now. OK, I'll admit, I do slack on it every now and then because that thing can hurt, but overall I love what it does. I also use two tennis balls that are duct-taped together. So when I got word of a product that sort of combines those two things into one, I was intrigued.
It's called Myorope, and I likey! A good addition to the world of recovery as a tool for self-massage, trigger-point therapy and myofascial release.
According to it's creator, Neil, a triathlete who also strength trains, etc., Myorope was created to do what most self-massage tools can't: Target hard-to-reach spots that a big foam roller can't hone in on, and pinpoint those spots --including trigger points -- with multiple balls (that aren't covered in duct tape) vs. just one or two.
So I got a Myorope, and at first I thought, well, I have my foam roller and my tennis balls, and both seem to serve my needs, why do I need another similar device? Well besides the obvious reason that more balls are better than one (or two even) haha...
Here's what I like...
Myorope rolls a lot better than the tennis balls. I tend to get "stuck" on tennis balls.
The size of the balls -- size of a lcarosse ball -- is ideal and they dig into you well. Tennis balls are just a little too small and, for me, it's like I'm just sitting/lying on the floor, negating their effect. If that makes sense.
It actually conforms to the area I'm rolling and makes it easy to target a muscle or muscle groups.
Way more effective on my back than foam rollers and tennis balls. As validation of that: My boyfriend who has had back issues says he loves the massage and relief that Myorope provides.
Surprisingly works well on the IT Band (thought it wouldn't be tough enough).
Gets my hamstrings better than foam roller/tennis balls.
Easy to store compared to foam roller (think: travel).
Better looking than a clump of duct-taped balls (a good conversation piece too*).
Cheap ($15-$25 depending on your ball # preference).
On the flip side (just so I don't sound like a total infomercial)...
I still think a foam roller is better on IT band and calves.
If you're supine (face up) or sitting and want to roll out muscles like your quads or calves, then I think products like a runner's stick are better at digging deep than Myorope.
Foam rollers, tennis balls and like products (i.e. TP Therapy) will still do the job. Heck, we even have yoga mats wrapped around large PVC piping and that works! Myorope just might be better in certain areas.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Myorope to any of my clients of triathlete friends. It's innovative and really is able to target certain areas unlike tennis balls and foam rollers, with the added bonus that it rolls really easily and so on.
*I won't lie, when I first got my Myorope my boyfriend and I had a good laugh. The product looks similar to something else that exists in this world, just a lot bigger version of it. If you know what I'm saying, then get your mind out of the gutter ;) And, no, for the record, I don't have that undiscolsed "other" product!
Tawnee Prazak, M.S., CSCS, is a triathlon coach, personal trainer, multimedia journalist and triathlete. Contact her at email@example.com or see more at www.tawneeprazak.com