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How to Use a Vibrating Foam Roller Like Tom Brady

A whosie whatsie? If Tom Brady uses one, we’re all ears. Vibrating pliability rollers are juiced up foam rollers that also contain pulsating technology. The added vibration purportedly deepens and speeds up the loosening of tight muscles and aids recovery. Basically, it involves keeping the body pliable — a major aspect of pro athlete training that many recreational dudes forget to do.

Why Do I Need to Stay Pliable?

Muscle stiffness gets worse over time and affects all athletic (i.e. physical) performance, including those 5k Turkey Trots. Experts at TB12 (a training method created by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady), say that when we don’t stay pliable, strains and injuries cause pain receptors to send SOS signals to our brain. The brain then signals muscles surrounding the strain to tighten for protection. Other muscles are forced to pick up the slack which creates imbalances and more injuries.

tom brady new england patriots 2019
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

“If you want proof that pliability training works, I’m it,” says Brady. “I was the 199th pick of the 2000 draft — an athlete that had always been told he didn’t have the right body for football. No one had believed I’d play a year of college ball let alone in the NFL. Not a lot of players have ever started as quarterback while in their 40s.”

Brady calls pliability training the “missing leg” of nearly every strength and conditioning programming. So the GOAT secret to success may not be staying away from nightshade vegetables, but trying vibrating foam rolling.

How to Use a Vibrating Foam Roller

The cool part about using a vibrating pliability roller is you can do it on the ground watching the game on Sunday. TB12 experts do say pliability training has the best results immediately before or after a workout, but runners who swear by foam rolling will get in a quick 20-minute session any time and anywhere.

Before a workout, a vibrating roller can loosen the muscles and reduce the risk of injury. Following a flex, rolling out jumpstarts recovery, clears built-up lactic acid (like a deep-tissue massage), and begins correcting any muscle imbalances that took place during the workout.

“If you want proof that pliability training works, I’m it,” says Tom Brady.

TB12 suggests focusing on one muscle for one minute at a time. Easy enough. Using a vibrating roller, target biceps and triceps, quads, and shins to start. Staying focused can be simple as downloading the TB12 app and following a workout. Other foam rolling experts like Hyperice and Trigger Point have instructional assets so dig around online. Our tip? Breathe!

If it hurts, you’re vibing too high. Start low. You won’t be in a crowded gym and should feel no need to go hard and heavy right away. Begin at the lowest setting, one minute per muscle, and see how you feel the next day. As you stay consistent, ramp up the intensity.

pliability foam roller
Miljko/Getty Images

With only a single piece of equipment and theoretically free workouts, the key to pliability success is consistency. Muscle tightens quickly and easily, so the point is to maintain pliability and retrain the muscles to stay loose.

“Through deep-force pliability work, you can take advantage of your brain’s inherent neuroplasticity,” say experts at TB12. Using a vibrating foam roller can restore the muscles’ ability to oxygenate and promote healing. This doesn’t only happen in the direct muscle but in the brain … which is very groovy.

Best Vibrating Foam Rollers

Unlike chips at the grocery store, there are only a few vibrating foam rollers to choose from. This helps. Here are four to pick from:

TB12 Vibrating Foam Roller

TB12 Vibrating Foam Roller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Obviously, the pliability tool Brady himself recommends. Durable foam encases a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and three vibration settings. It won’t rattle your brain as you’re using it, which we dig. The pros dig it, too. This is the same roller used by athletes at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center in Foxboro.

Trigger Point Grid Vibe Plus

Trigger Point Grid Vibe Plus
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Best for athletes and runners who are looking for increased pain relief, this Trigger Point roller has the perfect grooved shape and a cordless, rechargeable design. It’s a shorter roller, making it easy to transport. Try on your spine for some killer back attention and relaxation.

Exl Vibrating Roller

Exl Vibrating Roller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

So, you’re into torture? If vibration wasn’t intense enough for tight muscles, this roller features textured high-density foam. Those grooves will make you feel the pain, but, like, in a good way. It’s recommended to use it before a workout to promote blood flow and range of motion. The roller offers three speeds and is small enough to carry.

Hyperice Hypersphere

Hyperice Hypersphere
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Try a sphere instead of a roller! If soreness and stiffness are focused in smaller areas with intense pain, a vibrating pliability sphere may serve you better than a roller. This sphere can release deep trigger points with high-intensity vibration. The most portable of them all, the Hypersphere can be used on the feet, calves, hamstrings, gluteus, hip flexors, shoulders, back, and forearms.

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Jahla Seppanen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Born and raised off-the-grid in New Mexico, Jahla Seppanen is currently a sports, fitness, spirits, and culture writer in…
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