Gear Guide: The Cold Roller
I think I am in love…with the Cold Roller. You see, it combines two of my favorite forms of recovery: foam rolling and cold compression. I’ve been putting a lot of miles on these old legs of mine recently, and when you pair that with the nine or so hours of sitting I do on the job, you’ve got yourself a recipe for tight muscles— especially those hammies.
When I first got this sleek-looking therapy tool, I was skeptical. I knew, like all the other rollers before, it would help release all the lactic acid build-up in my muscles and work out those pesky kinks. And, unlike a massage, it wouldn’t leave a dent in my bank account. I wasn’t so sure about the “cold” aspect, though.
Nevertheless, I stuck the thing in my freezer making a mental note to use it after my next long run. Three days later, after a challenging 16 miles, I pulled the Cold Roller out, plopped it on the floor, and began rolling from the top of my knee to my hip, working on my quads first.
I felt a familiar stinging sensation (not as bad as when you submerge your lower half in a tub of ice water for 10-15 minutes, though) from the chilly stainless steel, and after a couple of minutes my muscles began to loosen.
I expertly worked every sore spot (butt, calves, hamstrings, and even my feet!) until my entire body relaxed.
Curious if I could say buh-bye to ice baths for good, I turned to one of my favorite trainers, George Vafiades, co-owner of As One gym in New York City, to get his opinion. He’s big at rolling out tension over there, in fact, after every session, he leads folks through a 10-minute foam-rolling series.
Vafiades opinion: It has some of the same benefits as an ice bath. "The cold treatment will help shut down the inflammatory response, calm tired muscles and help start the healing process,” he explains. “But I wouldn’t forgo the ice baths just yet!"
Oh well, I’m still in love!