When it comes to effective myofascial release I have always felt that there is a minimum set of tools you need to release all your muscles.
The first is, one standard foam roller, and the second is a set of massage balls of differing sizes and densities.
Through using the right techniques these two tools can provide most of the muscle release and deep tissue massage you’ll ever need.
Despite my belief that you only need one foam roller, I decided to purchase the Rumble Roller to test whether it is as good as some of the reports have suggested, or whether it is just all hype.
This post is a quick write-up and review of my experiences and thoughts on the Rumble Roller and the other Rumble Roller line of foam rollers, including the Original, XFirm and the Rumble Roller Gator.
I’ll also cover who I think the Rumble Roller is best suited to, and how best to use it.
If you’re interested in either buying the Rumble Roller or looking for another myofascial release tool to take your massaging to the next level, this post is for you.
What Is The Rumble Roller?
The Rumble Roller is a foam roller designed to release muscle tightness and deep knots in the body that most other foam rollers can’t.
Traditional foam rollers have flat surfaces with minimal grooves, however, the Rumble Roller has deep grooves that sink deep into muscle and fascia.
Rumble Roller Options
The Rumble Roller is available in different variations, from size, colour and density. All models have the same patterns and spacing of the bumps on the surface.
Size – There are three sizes that are available. Full-size (31 inches long and 6 inches in diameter). Mid-size (22 inches long and 5.5 inches in diameter). Compact (13 inches long and 5 inches in diameter).
Colour – The Rumble Roller comes in either blue (original) or black (extra firm).
Firmness – There are two options of firmness. The Original firmness is deemed to mimic thumb pressure and is good for all body parts. The XFirm option is 36% firmer than the Original and is recommended only for experienced users.
Rumble Roller also have a Rumble Roller Gator model which is their version of a traditional foam roller.
Rumble Roller Review
In this section, I test out each of the Rumble Roller foam rollers (Original, X-firm and the Gator).
Before, I go into my analysis and review it’s important to note that I do foam roll a lot and use all kinds of tools. Therefore, I’m likely not as sensitive to pain as a beginner would be.
Initial Impressions Out of the box
All the foam rollers came boxed and each had a manual taped around the diameter of the foam roller.
The quality and durability of all Rumble Roller models stood out.
I’ve had foam rollers break as I’ve used them but there’s no chance of this happening with the Rumble Roller.
The Rumble Roller does not have a hollow centre like some foam rollers, however, it doesn’t add any extra weight and they are much lighter than expected.
Overall, the Rumble Roller is well-made and the quality is noticeably much higher than the majority of cheap foam rollers on the market.
Rumble Roller ORIGINAL
I found the ORIGINAL Rumble Roller had a nice feel to the ridges. They weren’t too hard when you pressed them in with your fingers, yet when you get on the foam roller it feels quite intense.
My experience pretty much matches up with the manufacturer’s description of the Original model.
ORIGINAL: With very firm but flexible bumps, this model comes closest to mimicking thumb pressure. Great for all body parts, and works better around bony areas. Recommended for both beginners and experienced users.
Personally, I found the Original can be used on all parts of the body, however, near bony areas you do need to be careful and apply pressure slowly.
If you have a ton of trigger points all over your body this is a great option to have because it offers a lot more versatility than the extra firm model (reviewed below).
If a traditional and flatter surfaced foam roller isn’t helping you relieve certain tight spots, then this Rumble Roller should be your go-to option.
Rumble Roller EXTRA FIRM
The EXTRA FIRM model is noticeably much firmer than the Original even if it is only 36% firmer.
XFIRM: Extremely firm (about 36% firmer than Original), and only recommended for experienced users with especially dense muscle tissue that doesn’t respond to normal massage pressure. This model does dig deeper into thicker muscles, but may be too painful to use on some body parts.
When I first held the EXTRA FIRM model in my hand and pressed down on the ridges I said to myself ‘this isn’t going to be so bad,’ but I found it’s a different story when you actually use it.
It really does feel like the ridges are made from hard plastic when you lie on it.
In fleshy areas of the body, this model of the Rumble Roller feels great. You can apply weight on it and let the ridges sink in deep.
That being said, this model does not work well on bony areas and can feel painful.
I found that the Extra Firm Rumble Roller does not work well on bony areas.
Areas such as the shoulder blades, IT band, shin area and around the knee didn’t work well for me.
The Rumble Roller’s grooves were too firm to work effectively in these areas and generated the wrong type of pain.
I thought it would work well with the hamstrings, but I found that wasn’t the case as the ridges were too small.
However, if you have never rolled out your hamstrings then it is much more intense than a regular roller.
I think that the EXTRA FIRM Rumble Roller can be used on fewer body parts than the ORIGINAL as it’s just too uncomfortable on some areas. Therefore, in my opinion, it is less versatile than the ORIGINAL model.
If you’re looking for deep trigger point relief in specific fleshy areas, then this is a great option. Otherwise, if you’re looking for an all-round body solution, I would go with the ORIGINAL.
Rumble Roller GATOR
The Rumble Roller Gator is drastically different to the regular Rumble Rollers with the deep ridges as its more in line with the traditional foam rollers that you would use post-workout to soothe sore muscles.
Its surface is patterned in such a way as to provide a special Cross Frictional massage.
These small bumps on the surface (which resemble the skin of an Aligator) can easily be pushed flat with your finger.
This means they aren’t there to sink into your muscles, but rather provide a grippy surface which prevents the foam roller from slipping underneath you (which can happen with polystyrene foam rollers).
In addition, the little bumps provide a bit of padding so that the core underneath doesn’t feel too firm.
Overall, I really like the Gator foam roller.
It’s a lot denser and firmer than most foam rollers and I like the feel of the small bumps as I was using the Gator foam roller.
If you’re looking for a foam roller that is firm and of good quality, and you can roll back and forth over easily, the Gator is worth a closer look.
Rumble Roller Review: Final Verdict
The traditional Rumble Rollers are perfect if you’re looking to release trigger points in fleshy areas and already have some experience using a traditional foam roller.
If you do decide to go with the Rumble Roller it will do exactly what it is advertised to do.
It will hit the deepest trigger points and release muscle tension around the body.
However, like all foam rollers, the Rumble Roller will not be able to provide the deepest massage to every single area of the body.
Some areas of the body will still require the use of other specialised myofascial release tools depending on the body part.
In addition, buyers should be aware that the Rumble Roller really isn’t the type of foam roller that you roll back and forth on quickly to massage large areas of muscle at a time.
Rather, you need to take it slow and be patient.
However, if you are looking for this type of foam roller then the Gator by Rumble Roller is the one to go for out of the three.
In terms of quality, all Rumble Rollers are well-made rollers that should last you a lifetime and are excellent value for money.
I do not regret purchasing them at all.
The Rumble Roller is perfect for anyone who is obsessed with releasing every little trigger point that exists, and anyone who enjoys owning a vast array of myofascial release tools.
If this is your goal, then the Rumble Roller will suit you well.
One word of caution is to ensure that you choose the right firmness to suit your needs and experience levels.
Related: The Best Foam Rollers