Gear Review: EvoFit's ensō Muscle Roller

A recovery tool worthy of worship

Self myofacial release sounds like a crazy, complicated process. Don't let the extravagant sounding terminology intimidate you, though. In the most simple of terms, SMR is the answer to every sore-muscled athlete’s prayers.

To put it simply, SMR is self-massage. It involves the process of using a foam roller or plastic massage stick to release muscle tension and stretch, unknot, and realign muscle fibers.

I'm a runner. I run a lot. My lower-body muscles take quite a beating, which is why I thought I'd discovered the best thing since sneakers when I was introduced to the foam roller. After using one for the first time it quickly became quite clear that stretching is only half of the story when it comes to workout recovery. If I want my tired and tangled lower limbs to feel fully recuperated, SMR absolutely must be a part of my post-workout picture.

If the standard everyday foam roller is the answer to every sore-muscled athlete’s prayers, then the new ensō roller by Evofit is a muscular miracle. Because the typical foam roller is simply a cylindrical block of foam it can only provide uniform pressure, which makes it hard to target trigger points, or specific areas of the muscle that are particularly knotted and tense.

The ensō roller is made up of several Styrofoam-rimmed discs, and these discs, well they make all the difference. They deliver dynamic pressure at varying points which allows for a much deeper dig than its flat-surfaced competitor could ever achieve.

The first time I ever used a conventional foam roller my trainer instructed me to pause for 5 to 10 seconds anytime I felt the stress of a knot or a particularly tense spot. He told me that holding pressure over these “trigger points” would help to release the tension and better break up the knotted tissue. Working with the ensō roller has made this technique feel immensely more effective. By offering a directly targeted application of pressure to each individual sore spot it has totally reinvented the self-massage method.

What’s more is that the ensō is more than just a roller. The discs can be rearranged or completely removed, which means it’s completely adaptable for all different body types and it’s easy to use for massaging every and any muscle. It can even be transformed into a hand-held apparatus for easy access to those harder to reach places.

My post-workout routine previously consisted of a quick roll out with a plastic massage stick. While that method was certainly better than nothing at all, I now know that it was also nothing compared to the effects I’ve achieved with the ensō. After incorporating it into my training routine for a several weeks, I can honestly say that my lower body muscles feel more relaxed and better recovered. My loose, unknotted muscles unanimously agree, the ensō is a recovery tool worthy of worship.