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Viper 2 Vibration Roller
Features: Three Vibration frequency levels: 45, 68, 92 HZ
Materials: Poly-propylene outer shell
Power: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries / 2 hours of use per charge
Extras: 1 year warranty included
Best features: High quality construction, durable, powerful
Areas for improvement: High price
The Viper 2 Vibration Roller may seem gratuitous at first. It is, in fact, a vibrating foam roller. But it really works. The quality of the construction and motor translates to smooth but very powerful vibration frequencies that easily penetrate through layers of muscle quickly.
The roller is best for large muscle groups like the quads, hamstrings and glutes because of its size and shape. It is a very firm device, even harder than the firmest of foam rollers so targeting smaller areas can be tough (for that, consider the Hyperice Hypersphere Vibrating Therapy Ball).
The three settings are ideal for über stiff muscles and tendons. For an angry IT band, start on the first (lowest) setting and roll on your side as normal, making sure to go slow and letting the muscle release. As the IT loosens up, progress to the second and third settings to achieve deep stimulus. When encountering knots, rest the knot directly on the Vyper and let the vibration do the work.
The vibration encourages blood flow: after any duration of run or workout, a quick session on the Vyper 2.0 will help keep muscles, tendons and fascia limber and ready to rock. It is an expensive item, but the 1-year warranty helps with the sting.
—Megan Janssen is the Associate Editor of Trail Runner magazine.