If you’ve never used massage/fitness rollers before, let’s just say your first time will be…. intense. But so worth the hurts-so-good (temporary) pain: you’ll relax tight muscles and melt away tension like only a pro-massage can usually do. AT URBANSWEAT we’re always looking for clever products that lessen the impact on our planet – so we were keen to try these super-stylish sustainable eco-friendly cork massage recovery tools from Aussie brand Mobeco.
What’s different about them?
Most rollers are usually made from foam rubber, plastics and other nasties, which disintegrate over time, absorb sweat, and aren’t easily disposed of at end of life. Mobeco rollers (and the rest of their fitness equipment) are all made of 100% natural cork which is non-porous (sweat-proof, won’t absorb bacteria like foam so is more hygienic), durable, long-lasting, 100% renewable and recyclable.
How do I use them?
Formerly used by pro athletes and physical therapists, rollers are now a familiar fixture in most gyms and fitness studios. Basically you use your bodyweight to lean into these specially-shaped tools to release tension by rolling out tight muscles and fascia (the body’s connective tissue). Everyone can benefit from self-massage (also called self-myofascial release), which leaves you feeling relaxed and flexible. From less pain pre- and post-workout to better sleep, posture and mobility improvements, and most importantly a way to help undo the aches and pains of sitting desk-bound for a third of our lives.
How they performed:
We were pleasantly surprised with how compact and light they were – you could easily throw them in your suitcase when travelling. Our advice: Start slowly. Cork is denser and more unyielding than foam, so we found this to be quite firm pressure. Also, these tools are noticeably smaller in size than most which results in a smaller surface area = concentrated pressure. However, you can control how hard you press with your own bodyweight. Before you give them a go, watch the Mobeco tutorial videos first. They’ll help you visualise how to manoeuvre the equipment to hit those tricky-to-reach tight spots.
Tools ranked from most to least intense:
* The Ball is the most versatile as it’s small enough to really get into every tight spot in the hips, glutes, back, chest, feet etc. It’s also the most intense as the smaller surface area means one concentrated point of pressure.
* The Peanut is designed to massage down your back (the middle groove is where your spine fits in), as well as the shoulders, neck, feet and calves. A good all-round tool, it can be used on most body areas.
* The Roller is good for larger muscle groups like quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves and upper back (thoracic spine). As it covers larger areas at a time, it’s less intense as the pressure is more spread out across the tool’s surface area.
If you’re looking for a grown-up, eco-friendly alternative to traditional foam rollers and balls, this is it. Not just chic-looking, these work really well. And you can buy them individually as well as in a pack. We followed along with the videos, pushed through the (good) pain and experienced sweet, sweet release after about 20 mins. Lying on the ball relaxed our tight shoulder blades and front of chest; rolling our upper back on the long roller released our tight spine and rib-cage; and the peanut gave us a massive unexpected release in our calves of all places (who even knew?!). This was followed by the best night’s sleep we’ve had in months. Worth. Every. Dollar.
**EXCLUSIVE OFFER** Run, don’t walk! For a limited time, URBANSWEAT readers get 15% OFF all purchases from Mobeco. Just enter the code URBANSWEAT at checkout to redeem.
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