Awhile back I posted a picture of a new to me recovery tool I was curious about, the R8 Roll Recovery. I was hesitant to purchase it given the $100+ price tag but some birthday money was burning a hole in my pocket, so I caved. So glad I did!
The foam roller will always have a place in my toolbox, but the R8 is a great way to specifically target the quads, IT bands, hamstrings and calves. The pressure is more targeted than what you would experience with a foam roller. I have read some reviews that it is great for the glutes as well but I've had some difficulty mastering that maneuver. The R8 is also a great way to target the adductors, which is nearly impossible with the foam roller or The Stick.
A great feature of the R8 is the ability to target two muscle groups at the same time due to two sets of rollerblade-like wheels. I can roll my ITB band and adductor in one shot! The materials are durable and overall it is a really well made product.
I won't lie, the first few times I used it, I made some pretty comical faces. The hurts so good kinds of faces! Think of your first deep tissue massage - that's how it feels! After those initial sessions, I did develop a tolerance to the discomfort. I have been using the R8 daily and have definitely noticed a difference in my hamstring and IT Band tightness.
One thing worth noting - while the R8 can be great for loosening tight calf muscles, be careful of how much pressure you are placing on the opposite side of the roller. Protect the sensitive bony areas of the shin.
Overall, the R8 was a worthwhile investment for me. If I figure out how to contort myself to roll out my glutes, I'll let you know.