Confession: When Women’s Health asked me to review a vibrating foam roller – the Hyperice Vyper 2.0 to be precise – my immediate thought was that it was going to be another gimmicky fitness tool that would end up gathering dust in the cupboard. Turns out, I was wrong.
Vibrating Foam Roller: First Impression
At first glance, the Hyperice Vyper 2.0 looks just like a regular foam roller – a solid cylinder about 30cm long. In the box, you also get a charging cable and a number of international plug adaptors.
On closer inspection, there’s an on/off switch on one end and another button on the other, which controls vibration speed. LEDs indicate that it’s on and as well as its level of charge.
How It Works
When you switch it on, the foam roller starts vibrating fiercely, even at its lowest speed (there are three). I found it worked better to get in position first and only then switch it on – otherwise it jumped around on the floor alarmingly.
Initially, I tried rolling on it but soon discovered that keeping it in one spot was the way to go – the vibrations do all the work that I would usually do by rolling back and forth.
What The Research Says
There seems to be a decent amount of evidence that the vibes actually work.
For instance, a small study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that participants using a vibrating roller experienced better range of motion in their hips compared to those using a standard roller.
And a 2019 study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that vibrating foam rollers had a substantially bigger effect on pain threshold than standard rollers.
WH Tests It
I happened to receive the Hyperice Vyper 2.0 vibrating foam roller at a time when a sciatic nerve issue was hampering my training. I found that positioning the trouble spot (my piriformis) on the roller and then holding still while the vibrations went to work gave me relief.
I could feel the tension easing but I didn’t experience that close-your-eyes-and-go-to-your-happy-place pressure pain that I’m used to with regular rollers. (Incidentally, research backs this up – using a vibrating roller on sore muscles was shown to have a similar effect to regular rolling but participants found it easier and more comfortable.)
In the weeks that followed, the universe saw fit to throw more muscular niggles my way – forearm, hamstring, back. Clocking time on the roller provided relief for all of the above. I even used it under my feet, although I found it works best on longer muscles, like the hamstrings. NB: Keep it away from your neck – the vibrations are intense and skull-rattling!
The benefits of foam rolling are numerous but I tend not to do it as often as I should because a) The pain! and b) It’s a mission. I found I used the vibrating foam roller way more often and got results. It’s a yes from me, although at R2 900, it’s an investment.
WIN a Hyperice Vyper Go vibrating roller worth R3 000!
Designed for portability, the Vyper Go is ideal for anyone who travels regularly. It’s TSA approved for hand luggage, has three vibration speeds and two hours of battery life. And you can win one rn!
How do you enter?
It’s so easy!
1. Make sure that you are following us on Instagram @womenshealthmagsa and @hyperice
2. Then fill in your details and sign up to our newsletter here or below.
3. To be eligible for the prize, you must be over 18 and a South African resident, and follow all the steps above.
4. The winner will be randomly selected and notified.