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  • Writer's pictureCaitlin Walters

Featured Product: R8 Massage Roller

Do you feel like a flopping fish when you use the foam roller? Is it awkward to incorporate into your daily activities or tricky to travel with? Roll Recovery has created a fitness device to address these concerns, making it even more convenient to work out muscles with similar pressure to s a deep tissue massage, but far easier than squeezing your therapist into your pocket.

About Roll Recovery

Roll Recovery is a USA business which got its start in 2011 as founder, Jeremy Nelson developed concepts and prototypes developed in a garage in Boulder, CO to help his professional marathoner wife recover faster between training sessions. Roll Recovery's mission is to provide high-quality products which empower athletes, optimizing recovery and enhancing performance. Similar to us, their focus is to enable others to keep moving and keep engaging with their lives.

Roll Recovery actively partners with athletes (largely whom their business is comprised of) while designing and constructing their products to ensure that they meet specific needs and are user-friendly. They are responsive to client feedback and often create product solutions to voiced concerns and needs.

About the Product

This unique device is known by multiple names; R8 Massage Roller, Roll Recovery, Massage Roller, Recovery Roller, the it-hurts-so-good contraption, among others (most of these are unofficial terms). This design includes features such as a spring configuration, stainless steel hardware, ball bearings in all pivot points, soft-touch handles and the ability to switch out roller Inserts to adapt to your need and desired intensity. The structure of this device enables it to self-adjusts for various parts of the body (e.g. arms vs. thighs vs. neck, ect.). Its compact design makes it easy to travel with and use on the go to accompany workouts or as needed throughout your day. This Standard R8 Roller design is ideal for individuals who are accustomed to deep tissue massages or can adjust the pressure themselves via holding the handles, whereas a different design, the R8 Plus has an adjustable dial within the frame with which you can adjust the default pressure of the roller.


  • Applies deep tissue massage pressure

  • Can be used sitting, standing or laying

  • Improves circulation

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Breaks up muscle adhesions for myofascial release

  • Interchangeable R8-Inserts adapts to individual needs

  • Soft-touch handle

  • FDA Registered Medical Device

  • TSA Approved.


The R8 Roller is ideal in working out the IT-bands, quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, gluteus, arms and more. This device is great to assist in pre or post workout to improve muscle recovery, to alleviate pain, or relieve tension throughout the day or even before bed. To get this device onto your body, you can slide your hand through the opening, or put it on your leg, roll, and twist onto your leg. By getting it onto your arms and legs, you can then roll it onto other focus areas of your body. If you're focusing on your calves, it's recommended to roll it on at the Achilles area or ankle. It's important to note that this device is made for soft tissue and not intended to roll over bone. Keep off of kneecaps and shin bones especially.

Some tips and tricks to using this device includes:

  • Hold pressure over tension spots to help release

  • While holding over tension spot, flex your muscles or rotate your foot/hand

  • To reach the glutes and hip flexor, roll up from the thigh

Chase demonstrates how the R8 Roller can be used on Arms and Legs as well as the Arms and Neck. There are so many ways that this device can be used, Roll Recovery even has their own YouTube channel to demonstrate more methods!

Our Experience

While we don't use it during massage sessions, we keep it on hand to either help our own stretching and to break up the muscle adhesions in our bodies, or for clients with hard to release buildups who are interested in a product to assist them with their home maintenance.

Since Chase is constantly on his feet and using many muscle groups, he loves this device, especially on his biceps and forearms which tends to have the most build up. I however, cannot open this contraption with one hand while trying to snake my other hand through the hole. I consider myself with average muscle strength, but it's still difficult for me to manage on my own. It is however, very efficient at breaking up the tough calf muscles quickly, allowing me to bounce back into action. And since I can use both hands to control the pressure, I prefer to use it on my legs.


Many reviews are similar to our own experience, where individuals accustomed to deep massage and deep muscle work, love this device. Those (like myself) who don't always love deep work, or prefer warming up into deep work, might not align with this device. It is not recommended for sensitive people, albeit sensitive skin or muscle groups. The R8 Roller comes with hard inserts which can be intense for some individuals, but can be changed out with other Roll Recovery inserts including the plush version which is softer for most individuals (see also R8 Custom).

In Conclusion

If you're looking for a travel friendly alternative to foam rollers, or looking to up your recovery game, then the R8 Roller is a great solution, especially for those with very active lifestyles or who need frequent muscle work to prevent buildup in the body. For those looking for a travel-friendly option, but concerned that the Standard R8 Roller will be too intense in pressure, research the R8 Plus Roller which has the adjustable dial to lessen intensity of this device or consider alternative products as this device can be intense for those with sensitive bodies, prone to bruising or other skin and muscle considerations.

Having more muscle strength than I, Chase uses this device more than I do. The R8 Roller quickly and very effectively breaks up muscle adhesions enabling receptivity to either access deeper trigger points or to return to action. While it's not a device we use often, it is valuable for those moments when nothing else seems to help, especially between massages.


Amy Spurr-Caveney (2021, January 29). R8 ROLLER BY ROLL RECOVERY | What is it and why it was made, who is it for, & is it worth the price? [YouTube video]. Retrieved from  

Capritto, A. (2023, July 26). Roll Recovery R8 Review 2024: Digs Deeper Than You Probably Want It To [blog post]. Retrieved from

Roll Recovery (2024). About Us [blog post]. Retrieved from

ROLL Recovery (2013, October 7). ROLL Recovery R8 - Demo [YouTube video]. Retrieved from 

ROLL Recovery (2018, February 28). ROLL Recovery - How To - R8 [YouTube video]. Retrieved from 


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