As someone who likes fitness, sports, and picking up heavy things and putting them down, my muscles are perpetually sore. Add in the fact that I’m a complete and total klutz, and mobility and recovery tools become my jam. But when my childhood friend turned physical therapist pulled out the HYPERICE’s HYPERSPHERE, a pulsating ball about the size of a softball, I didn’t know what to think. Keeping an open-minded, I gave it a roll.
Sure, massages, lacrosse balls, and those rolling-pin like mobility tools are one way to address pre- and post-workout sessions, but don’t overlook the power of vibration. Creators of the VYPER, a vibrating foam roller, HYPERICE received rave reviews from athletes and consumers alike who found relief from the tube-shaped pulsating apparatus. Combine that with March 2016-released research data showing that delivering high frequency vibration into the body can significantly increase an athlete’s range of motion, and the company knew it found the key to creating the next generation in recovery aids.
It was time to put the shaky ball to my achy body’s test. Here’s the skinny on what has and has not been working for me ever since.
- Power: The HYPERSPHERE offers a lot of power in its three vibration speeds. Because I’ve been dealing with a lot of back, trap, and shoulder pain, I can’t get past the power of the lowest speed, which is as much shimmying and shaking as my upper body can take. However, when getting deep into tissues like the glutes and upper legs, the middle speed is more manageable. The highest speed seems insane to me, but my husband–a bigger guy with more muscle than I have–is able to put it to good use when rolling it out large muscle groups.
- Targeted Focus: While foam rollers have their benefits, HYPERSPHERE is better at pinpointing specific areas of the body that are in harder to reach places. For example, I seem to have a recurring knot that forms in my trap right next to my shoulder blade. To reach it with a foam roller means rounding out my back and bending in an odd angle. A lacrosse ball is better about reaching the area, but doesn’t provide enough surface space to work into the knot. With the HYPERSPHERE, I can just lie on top of the device right where the knot is, and let the vibration shake out the stubborn area.
- Battery Life: I’ve read some negative reviews regarding HYPERSPHERE’s battery being problematic, but I haven’t experienced it firsthand. After the initial charge upon first receiving the device (it comes with it’s own plug-in wall charger), the battery hasn’t died yet (and we’re talking about two weeks with intermittent use). It’s also helpful that the device has lights on top to tell you where you’re at with power so that you know when to start the recharge.
- Size: The relatively small size makes the HYPERSPHERE easy to pack in your gym bag or even in your suitcase–though, expect some weird looks or possibly an impromptu luggage search if going through airport security.
- Price: At $149, the HYPERSPHERE isn’t easy on the budget. However, while other non-motorized recovery tools will be a lot more wallet friendly, if you’re big on mobilization–as you should be given the benefits of injury prevention and increased circulation–then it might be worth the investment.
- Smell: I know this sounds odd, but the initial smell of the product out of the box was overwhelming. It’s a plasticy, chemical smell, and one that I’ve come across with a number of products, including athletic shoes and lacrosse balls. It’s not the fault of the product or the manufacturers, but I feel I must mention it as I had to let the HYPERSPHERE air out a few days before I could use it. If you’re not sensitive to smells or are just in a lot of pain, this might not be a big deal for you.
- Pattern: While the three speeds deliver a lot of power, I find the pattern of the vibration to be a bit monotonous. Instead of such extreme vibration speeds, I could see the device being more effective if it offered different vibration patterns, similar to those in a massage chair. I would get more use out of this then I would the top two speeds currently provided.
So long as you’re not going to let this product sit in a closet unused–thus getting your money’s worth–I highly recommend adding the HYPERSPHERE to your mobility routine.
Have you tried this product? Tell us how it worked for you in the comments!