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New foam roller: The VYPER

Vyper HypericeFitness product companies are always looking for the “next best”; a way to improve on an already popular gadget. And it seems that Hyperice has done just this with a re-invention of the foam roller, called the Vyper.

The Vyper looks like an ordinary high quality foam roller except it includes a battery-powered motor, driven by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, which vibrates at three different speeds.

The idea came about after Hyperice founder Anthony Katz saw an athlete using a foam roller on a vibrating platform at a gym.

But why add vibration to a product that is already a must-have pre and post-exercise aid for almost all every sports people, amateur and professional?

Good vibrations?

According to medical experts, vibration treatment can be very helpful for recovery after intense exercise.

In a 2011 American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation study, vibration therapy after resistance training significantly reduced DOMS and helped to recover range of motion.

In another study, reported in the 2010 British Journal of Sports Medicine, it was shown that vibration therapy significantly reduced lower body soreness after downhill running.

Vibration treatments have also been found to create better blood flow beneath the skin, which in turn leads to quicker muscle recovery after exercise.

So, Katz figured, why not combine the popular foam roller with vibration?

Benefits of the Vyper in detail

How does a foam roller work?: The body’s muscular system functions as a result of the fascia. The fascia is the connective tissue that provides a network of support and structure for the body.

Thus, the fascia does a few things, including dictating how well we can move, posture and perception of pain. But the fascia can end up tight and inflexible due to exercise and the general wear and tear of life.

By using the roller to put pressure on parts of the fascia, an inhibitory effect takes place on the muscle spindles, which allows for better tissue flexibility. It’s called “releasing” the fascia or “myofascial release”, which helps the body’s support system to regain its optimum flexibility, mobility and strength.

How does the vibration work?: As you have read, vibration can be an aid to the body’s recovery post exercise. The Vyper adds vibration at three frequency levels and helps muscles to better respond to the beneficial pressure of the foam roller.   

What does the Vyper feel like?

The Vyper is made of a very firm foam. Even without the vibration, the roller creates an intense pressure on muscles and fascia.

There are three levels of vibration intensity, low, medium and high. The vibration feels very intense, especially on “high” but it’s not unpleasant. It’s as if the vibration melts the muscles and although it is a strange feeling at first it quickens the speed at which the benefits of the foam roller can be felt.

The vibration “grinds” down IT bands and liquefies muscle soreness, once you have become familiar with it. The suggestion is that you move up the intensity levels with each new session.

Most people say they can spend less time and less energy using the Vyper yet achieve better results than with a traditional, non-vibrating roller.

Other things to note about the Vyper is that it’s a fairly short 11.5 inches, which is great for travel and mobility of the gadget but not so good for rolling out large muscle groups.

The motor also makes the fitness aid quite noisy. It’s probably better to tell neighbours in a flat below if you are planning to use it on the floor, otherwise they will wonder what on earth you are up to!

When to use the Vyper

Before exercise as a dynamic warm-up for muscles and post-exercise as a way to help muscles recover faster and improve the body’s optimum range of movement.

Who uses the Vyper?

If you are a celebrity watcher you will already know that American actor Ashton Kutcher gifted his actress wife Mila Kunis a Vyper for her birthday. This caused a bit of a stir in America and has no doubt filtered through to the UK gossip columns.

However, on a more serious note there are some big names in sports who have endorsed the Vyper. The product was developed in America and so far it’s all US athletes that have come out to say they are using it.

US basketball pro Blake Griffin and American footballer Adrian Peterson reckon it’s a great gadget. Then again, they are partial owners of Hyperice so the chances are they will talk this product up.

Other top athletes that reportedly really like Vyper include World Cup Alpine skier Lindsay Vonn, US footballers Troy Polamalu and Clay Matthews and basketball star Kevin Durant.

We reckon it’s going to be a hugely popular product in the UK in 2016.

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