Vibrating Foam Rollers – Hyperice Vyper 2 vs Kingsfield Fitness
My first introduction to vibrating foam rollers came from Evan, of Vive Fitness, when he told me he had a few Vyper 2’s coming into the studio. I saw a Vyper 2 in person at the UFC Performance Institute in one of their recovery rooms. I finally tried one on October 17th, 2018. My initial reaction? I don’t know if I’m a fan of the vibrating foam roller. Evan’s response to that? Try it until you know.
October 24th I tried the Vyper 2 again in the studio and was sold. I ordered a Vyper 2 for myself to use at home. It arrives November 1st (this’ll be a crazy post as it’ll sound like I’m time traveling. I’m writing this in sections over the course of several months so ignore the time travel.)
For whatever reason it never crossed my mind that other companies are also producing vibrating foam rollers now. Why? Because they increase range of motion (ROM) by more than double that of a typical foam roller. Who wouldn’t want twice the benefit in the same amount of time?
My background with foam rolling? I started off taking classes from a physical therapist by the name of Jay Salzman at Studio X. These were hour long classes utilizing a variety of foam rolling tools as well as yoga straps. From there I started rolling on my own, then read a manual on the subject from FiTOUR. I then completed my Corrective Exercise Specialist certification with NASM, where the first piece of the CES program is to use foam rolling on targeted muscles to help improve one’s posture / movement patterns.
So let’s get into the details –
Which one looks cooler? I like the look of the Vyper 2 more as the power button is a bit slicker. The Kingsfield has notches 360 degrees around the entire roller, the Vyper 2 has some grooved and flat spots. This would probably run into a personal preference for users.
Speeds – My first two times with the Vyper 2 I ran it at the first speed which felt like plenty to me. My first try with the Kingsfield I ran it at the second speed.
October 30th – Kingsfield
I charged the Kingsfield for three and a half hours before using. I had taken part in an hour boxing class earlier in the morning where we did a lot of jabbing. And by a lot I mean we literally spent 3 minutes going forward and backward across the floor throwing jabs as we stepped forward or backwards. Then we held the pad for the other guy after our shoulders felt like they wanted to fall off. My left shoulder felt like it wanted to fall off.
So I rolled around with the Kingsfield for about 10 minutes on my upper back, lower part of the neck, hamstrings, IT band, quads, and glutes. Hamstrings, IT band, quads and glutes all feel great still, 6 hours after rolling. My shoulders started to tense up a little after about an hour and a half (and a bus ride home) but felt like a million bucks after I had rolled.
What did I say when one of my coworkers (the Kingsfield is for work breaks) asked me what I thought of it? I don’t feel like trash right now, this is amazing. I often walk around feeling tight, so feeling loosened up is an amazing feeling for me, even if it only lasts a few hours.
November 1st – KingsField
My shoulders were bothering me in their usual way where they seem to lock and swinging my arms up and down isn’t comfortable. So I threw my yoga mat on the ground and moved the Kingsfield around on my upper back, angling it at points to try and get into some tougher areas. After about 5-10 minutes (I wasn’t timing but it wasn’t very long) my shoulders unlocked themselves.
After the fact I realized my legs were kinda tight, but I hadn’t rolled them at all so that’s not the Kingsfield’s fault, that’s my own. November 1st was the turning point for wonderful feelings in my shoulders that hasn’t left since.
November 3rd – Vyper 2
I got my own Vyper 2 in the mail on November 2nd (I’m trying to be better about posting images on Instagram, so you can follow along with a lot of my use days there @getbackintofitness.) On November 3rd I threw the yoga mat down and rolled around on my hamstrings, calves, quads, IT band, back, lats, and arms. I did attempt to floss the area around my neck as well.
The only point I can’t seem to get to with either the Vyper 2 or the KingsField is my neck / top of shoulders. This is even true for the ball versions I have (which will be a separate review.)
The 4th through 7th I was using the ball versions I have for home and work. I walked into my massage appointment and told the massage therapist how great I felt compared to usual. I showed her the website for the new toys I had and told her that I’m moving further in the right direction for sports recovery. Typically we have to spend a ton of time fighting through the tougher tissue to fix me up. This time it felt like (to me anyway) she was able to move through my muscles much easier, getting to those tight upper shoulder / neck areas that I can’t get to with my tools (although I do have a handheld massager I’m going to try on that next.)
December 19, 2018 – The KingsField has now run out of charge twice. I stopped keeping track of when I used it / charged it, but feel it was last charged some time after Thanksgiving. I haven’t had to recharge the Vyper 2 since it’s first initial charge.
I find I use my HyperVolt and HyperSphere more often than the Vyper 2 at home. The Vyper 2 did get a knot out of my shoulder this morning (12/19) that I had received from doing a series of triple jab activities Tuesday morning. The Kingsfield I have at work available for others to use if they need it. As I stated above, it’s now been out of juice twice when needed. It doesn’t get used often enough to run out of juice like it does.
If you’re comfortable with it, you can leave it plugged in while not in use. I don’t like to leave things charging if I’m not watching, so I haven’t done that yet.
I’m now using speeds 1 and 2 on the Vyper 2, so I do indeed need a higher speed since I first started. Speed 1 felt like it was plenty when I started, then my body adjusted (or my knots got deeper) and now I’m happy I have that second speed.
I think the Kingsfield is fine for those on a budget and for those who are OK with leaving it plugged in while not in use. Speed 2 is equivalent to speed 1 of the Hyperice (according to me), so having 4 speeds is nice.
If you have the money, I would lean towards the Hyperice line.