Outfitted: Tools for your après routine | AspenTimes.com

Outfitted: Tools for your après routine

Meg Simon

It’s no secret that mountain living can take a heavy toll on your body. From bowl laps in ski boots and yard sale wipeouts to 4 Pass Loop trips and getting pumped on a crag, playing in the outdoors means we take a constant beating. Since most of us don’t have the money or the time to get a professional massage every day, recovery tools can be a godsend to help prevent injury and aid the ache of tight quads, hamstrings and cramped feet so you’re ready to tackle another adventure by the next morning.

Recently, my deep tissues have been loving products from Boulder-based company, Roll Recovery. Its founder, Jeremy Nelson, began an innovative process in his garage about a decade ago to fill a need he saw in the athletic performance market. He wanted to create exceptionally designed, functional recovery tools that were mobile enough to use anywhere. Since then, Roll Recovery has honed their craft to become a leader in the athletic performance space for everyone from novices to the elite. I wouldn’t be surprised if their rollers are floating around in the bags of Olympic athletes in Beijing this week. If you’re looking to get into the game of restoration, these pieces are a great place to start.

1. R3 Roller

The R3 is designed for perhaps the most neglected complex structure in the body, the foot. A non-symmetrical form features a medial convex surface to stretch the plantar and all the small intrinsic foot muscles. Two concave sections allow for medial and lateral rolling of the foot and heel. What does all that mean? This thing feels amazing. Its odd placement of grooves and curves has the ability to reach muscles in the foot you forgot were there. I use it all the time whether working at my desk, after a ski or while watching the Olympics. Technically a foot roller, the R3 can be used in hamstring, calf and forearm muscle groups as well. $27

2. R4 Roller

The unique design of the R4 roller is meant to target specific muscle groups and go a bit deeper than a traditional foam roller. There’s a center groove system designed to relax the spine while rolling the back muscles. The same groove system also works with IT-band tightness by targeting surrounding muscles. The high density foam can feel a bit firm at first and it’s a little awkward figuring out the best position for optimized muscle use, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. I especially like it for targeting lower back pain. $50

3. StretchMat

A mat isn’t something I would normally think of as essential. Just stretch on your yoga mat, right? Roll Recovery decided to rethink the traditional long, narrow sticky rectangle and came up with one that is a bit wider in size with a more comfortable surface. It features a slightly grippy, waterproof bottom, a soft top surface and a folding pattern that allows it to transport nicely. I love throwing it down on my living room floor for my stretch and rehab routine. You can also use it for a quick, slip-free ski boot change in the parking lot or a seating surface in the outdoors. As a bonus, it’s easy to clean. $50

Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at meg@simonfinchcreative.com.