So you know that MyoTrigger was born out of our dissatisfaction with local foam roller retail. You have also been seeing us mention “intensive product testing” and “consumer-centric creation process”. Just what do all these mean?
As you are all part of our community, we’d like to share with you some snapshots of our long journey to the first MyoTrigger Foam Roller.
Note: We have had to remove the names and brands of the shops we purchased from as well as retake the pictures to hide the logos, which is why this took some time to publish.
My First Foam Roller
This was my first foam roller – a simple 45cm EVA foam roller with point studs. I got it for $30 locally. This was a great roller which served well at first and even solved my back problem. The quality of the foam was good too and did not deform easily.
The only problem I had was that it was slightly too short and I could only roll one quad at a time, and it was easy to fall off it. Then I had to restart rolling the trigger point. Troubles. We later tried a 90cm model, which our testers feedbacked was way too long and too cumbersome.
When I used my first foam roller for consumer testing months later, we also received received feedback that it was too soft. We found this weird as this was supposed to be a firm roller. We later found out after more prototyping that due to the small size of the studs, they compressed easily and thus formed a ‘soft’ layer over the firm foam roller. While a pattern was necessary to form pressure differentials in the muscle and stimulate blood flow, flatter and wider studs were rated firmer. These were things we picked up on and kept in mind for the PaperClip.
Advancing to… the worst foam roller I ever paid for
When I needed something tougher, I went for this grid foam roller, which I got locally for $65. Yikes! I’ll go ahead and put it out here that this was THE WORST foam roller I have ever paid for, prototypes included. Admittedly, the initial Masseur’s Hand prototype sucked pretty bad as well.
Straight out of the wrapper, the first thing that hit me was the strong ammonic odour, like something cheap from a low quality Chinese factory. I later found out this was due to unsafe levels of formamide – a carcinogen that caused a big scare in EVA Baby Mats in the the European Union countries, used to soften EVA foam. EU has since banned it. MyoTrigger’s foam roller formamide levels are all way below the EU restriction, putting your minds at ease and your bodies out of harm’s way.
Also, the molding of the foam roller was just poorly done, slipshod, and unaesthetic.
Still, function over form, I proceeded to try the foam roller.
However, the PVC core proceeded to deform whenever I used it on big groups like glutes and quads that require force. This meant that I could not apply as much pressure as I would’ve liked as it is quite ‘elastic’. The foam itself was also a culprit as it was just way too soft.
Most shockingly, one side of the roller actually became PERMANENTLY FLATTENED. I was foam rolling a particularly stubborn trigger point on my left tibialis anterior muscle, which took about 5 minutes. To my intense displeasure, the side of the foam roller I was on has actually flattened. This is because PVC was never made with foam rollers in mind and was way too flexible. Afterwards, it could no longer roll properly. The edges, as you can see in the pictures above, have also started peeling. $65 gone – on a toilet pipe covered in their closest rendition to EVA foam.
During our later protoypes, we came across the less common and more costly ABS polymer core and found that it was the right material, with its high tensile strength.
One revision later and we have our ideal core – the Masseur’s Hand is able to hold more than 200kg without breaking.
UPDATE: The foam roller cracked! I was doing push-ups on this foam roller and the Masseur’s Hand for extra challenge, and it gave way with a loud SNAP!
I did some research after the incident and found that established fitness blogger and trainer, Coach Levi, who experienced the same problem. You can see his post on his broken PVC Foam Roller Here: Coach Levi’s Blog
A Destroyer is Born
The Fascianator is not a very intimate product with me as I only use it for hamstrings. It has a close cousin on the market called the Rumble Roller, which even our testers rave about. Great job Rumble. The main complaint was that the spikes were too far apart on the Rumble, and instead of foam rolling, smaller muscle groups experience an indiscriminate, inaccurate stabbing – sort of like a heavy machinegun.
Hence our Fascianator foam roller has denser, regular spike placement to hit more points in the muscle, and even a central ridge to attack the mid-back and traps – more like a sniper.
We had really good responses to the prototype, and after outfitting it with an ABS core, we were ready to roll (pun intended).
I hope this article has helped you understand a little more about the heritage of your MyoTrigger foam roller, and we’ve had great fun putting all these together for you too! My only wish is that you have as much fun as us in pursuing a fit lifestyle!