Soreness and stiffness are two annoyances athletes constantly deal with. When you push your body to the limit in training, games and practices, you're not always going to feel great when you wake up the next morning—that's just how human physiology works.
But there are ways to accelerate the recovery process and get you back to 100 percent. One method that's exploded in popularity over the last five years? Foam rolling.
A foam roller is a recovery tool, a dense foam cylinder that athletes use to perform self myofascial release. Rolling it over muscles reduces the tightness in fibrous tissue by applying pressure. This increases circulation and flexibility and reduces recovery time, which makes foam rolling an extremely valuable technique for athletes.
If you're looking for one of the most effective foam rollers on the market, look no further than the HyperIce Vyper. The main feature that sets it apart from other foam rollers is its ability to vibrate. The Vyper has three vibration intensity settings, which really add a new dimension to foam rolling.
When I used the vibration modes on the Vyper, I felt like I was able to hit soft tissue more deeply and get into small, hard-to-reach areas better than I would with a traditional foam roller. Overall, I felt like I had to do less work to get more relief—precisely what you want from a recovery tool. Vibration mode can be turned off whenever you want to use it like a traditional foam roller, which is useful if a particular area is extra sensitive.
The Vyper's design is also novel. Instead of a perfectly smooth cylinder, it has 16 small ridges on the exterior. You can roll on it smoothly like you would with a traditional foam roller, but the tiny ridges dig into soft tissue a bit deeper. It's not a huge difference, but it is noticeable.
Due to its vibrating core, the Vyper is heavier than traditional foam rollers. However, it's still light and compact enough to carry in your gym bag.
In terms of setup, the Vyper comes with an AC charger that can plug into any wall outlet. It has a fairly short charge time and a complement of LEDs that display its current battery level. A full charge gets you about 2 hours of usage.
Note: due to its electrical components, the Vyper is not water-safe. If you like to go straight from the shower or old tub to the foam roller, you have to dry off thoroughly before you use the Vyper.
Perhaps the biggest endorsement of the Vyper's effectiveness is the list of professional athletes who use it. Stars like Adrian Peterson, Blake Griffin, Patrick Peterson and Lindsey Vonn have all been seen using it to improve their recovery and keep their performance at an elite level.
The Vyper is available in three colors for $199.99 at HyperIce.com.
RELATED: Get The Most Out of Foam Rolling
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock