Recoup Fitness Stinger
I don't often review recovery products. In fact, one the last times I did so was when I truly stretched the definition of that category in order to praise the fantastic High Sierra Shower Head (which, four years later, I still use daily). So when a small startup called Recoup Fitness reached out to see if I wanted to check out their Stinger massage roller, I wasn't originally interested. But curiousity got the better of me, and I was excited to see what their Stinger was all about.
The Stinger is very simple: at its core is a roughly three-inch diameter hollow metal ball, filled with water. The ball is seamless all the way around, and actually quite pretty to look at. See the gallery for me doing my best M.C. Escher impression with it. Then there is a two-piece enclosure that provides you something to hang on to, and easily roll the ball over your muscles. The idea behind the water-filled sphere is to allow you to throw it in the freezer and provide yourself with cold rolling if desired. Or you can leave the thing at room temperature, it will work either way.
In my own use, I found the Stinger to be particularly effective in doing self-massage on the quadriceps, where the size and shape of the Stinger just seemed an ideal fit. For this purpose alone, it's probably worth the price of admission, where it seems to do a better job for me than just about anything except a professional massage therapist. It wasn't my favorite thing for calves or the IT band, where I tend to prefer a large black foam roller. I wasn't a huge fan of freezing the ball and doing cold therapy, but some people swear by that method.
One other thing I really like is being able to take the ball out of its cradle and use it on its own, to get into the glutes, calves, or shoulders. I often use a softball for this kind of thing, but the harder metal Stinger can be nice for really deep spot work. It's very smooth so it will tend to slide under you, rather than roll under you like a softball does, but it's still a nice option to be able to have. Do I consider the Stinger a staple of my recovery in the way that I tend to use a foam roller, softball, and a couple other little trinkets? Not yet, but I'm really glad to have it around to use on my quads. I'll be excited to see what Recoup does next.