Gear Test: The GRID Foam Roller

Anyone keeping close tabs on the NFL combine will have noticed a couple of things: Firstly, the frighteningly garish spandex that Manti Te’o & Co. were rocking, and secondly an equally bright orange foam roller on top of which the Notre Dame linebacker and fellow hopefuls were limbering. What you were looking at was massage therapy and a core workout all rolled into one -- pun included.

PRODUCT: The GRID Foam Roller -- RRP $39.99

WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO DO: The purpose of the roller is simple. Use it for a massage after a workout to aid repair and recovery, but use it during the workouts for core strength exercises to get the rippling abs you’ve always wanted. With different sized grooves seeking to replicate different parts of the human hand like the palm or finger tips, each part of the roller delivers different massage properties helping relieve various aches and pains.

DOES IT WORK: The fact that part of the recent NHL collective bargaining agreement required every franchise to stock these in the locker rooms means there must be something enticing about this roller. Add to the fact that the IMG academy was fully stocked with them and guys like LeBron, Nowitzki and every guy at the recent combines used it to deliver a healing touch makes for an even more compelling case.

Having used this extensively for a week, the general impression is very favorable. For someone who spends his days hunched over a keyboard it worked miracles. Knots, tired muscles and joints felt increasingly relaxed, especially in the upper back area when applied with the smaller grooves. Even after more strenuous matters such as a run or weights -- muscles felt soothed after use. For core workouts it was pretty good, too, acting as a solid platform on which to do various crunches lifts.

One drawback is that on some positions the roller can hurt a little. For the bonier individuals among us, the roller can prove to be a little too firm, especially where ribs are concerned. But it’s a minor quibble.

PRODUCT 2.0: Maybe for the lazier ones of us out there why not a giant roller that rolls over you while you melt away with pleasure. Cheaper than a masseuse and just as fun.