roll recovery r8 in-depth review

Roll Recovery R8 Review: The Foam Roller Evolved

Sometimes a product comes along that makes you completely rethink the old way of doing things. Such is the case with the Roll Recovery R8, an evolutionary myofascial recovery tool that antiquates the tried and true foam roller.  If you’ve been an avid foam roller, the Roll Recovery R8 might just be the device that has you replacing your foam roller for good. 

What Is The Roll Recovery R8?

The Roll Recovery R8 is a spring loaded, self-massage tool that allows you to effortlessly break up muscle adhesions and soothe achy muscles. For those that dread the painful thought of clumsily rolling on a foam roller, the R8 is manna from heaven.

We’ve been testing out the Roll Recovery R8 for the past 30 days in a busy rehab facility and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Don’t get us wrong, a foam roller can be quite effective, but has its drawbacks. For those with limited mobility, hopping on the floor is just not in the cards. The R8, however, can be used sitting, standing, or lying down.

How The R8 Works:

In practice, the Roll Recovery R8 is very easy to use. The R8 has two opposing handles with spring-loaded ribbed rollers attached to them.

To get started, you simply grasp the handles, gently yet firmly press the device down on your leg, and proceed to roll it back and forth. Like a foam roller, you’ll want to avoid rolling directly over any bony spots.

How Does It Feel?

By and large, using the R8 is much like other recovery devices. If there’s such a thing as “good pain”, it’s precisely that. For many, stretching muscles, breaking up adhesions, or working out trigger points is hardly a euphoric experience. A necessary evil? Most definitely.

Unfortunately, at this time the springs on the R8 are non-adjustable. Meaning you can’t dial back the applied pressure. For most of us, that’s a non issue. Yes, it digs into the muscles pretty intensely, but it was never overbearing. If you’re a bit more sensitive to deep pressure or you bruise easily, the R8 might not be the best fit. Of all the people we have used it on, we have yet to come across anyone that has complained that it was too much for them.

Not satisfied with the pressure? There’s good news! Roll Recovery introduced interchangeable R8 inserts to customize your experience. The SuperPlush and SuperDeep inserts do exactly what their names imply. At this time they’ll run you an extra $27.99 for each insert. That price is not for a pair. A little steep in our opinion since most people will likely opt for the set.

Limitations Of The R8

As versatile as the Roll Recovery R8 is, it certainly has its limitations as well. While it can handily treat IT-bands, quads, hamstrings and even arms, it is not intended to be used on the back or neck. You’ll need to resort back to your foam roller or massage gun if that’s where your problem spots are.

For all intents and purposes, the R8 was not conceived to be a do-it-all device either. The founder, Jeremy Nelson, is an avid runner. Built from “necessity”, the R8 was specifically designed to cater to that demographic. In other words,  runners, cyclists, swimmers, or other athletes that frequently use their legs. That said, from the elite to the sedentary, the R8 is for anyone with functional imbalances in the muscles of the extremities.

R8 In Action

If we had to use one word to describe what it is like using the Roll Recovery R8, it would be effortless. Because the rollers are spring-loaded and all the moving joints have ball bearings, gliding it across your body is incredibly controlled and precise. It provides just the right amount of tension that applying additional downward pressure is totally unnecessary.

The body is also constructed of a reinforced Zytel thermoplastic which is not only strong, but very lightweight. At just 3lbs and overall dimensions of 12.5” x 9.5” x 2.5”, you could throw the R8 into your gym bag and hardly know the difference.


For some, adding yet another tool to their arsenal of myofascial tools is less than ideal. Once you use the Roll Recovery R8, we think it will quickly become an indispensable component of your recovery.

At $129, it’s not quite an impulse buy, but for the amount of utility you’ll derive from it, it will more than make up the cost for years to come.

Roll Recovery R8

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