Rolling in the Deep with the R4 Deep Tissue Body Roller

Let’s be real, running is the fun part. Exploring new areas, trying out new routes, and participating in races is awesome. The training and recovery part of the sport…not as much fun. It is a necessary evil however, and though I don’t always love doing it, committing to activities for warm-up and recovery really does make me feel better. We may have missed National Foam Roll Recovery Day in May, but we felt like highlighting the new R4 Deep Tissue Body Roller from ROLL Recovery was a good idea no matter the month.

See all our posts from ROLL Recovery here!

Foam rollers have gained a lot of popularity in recent years and for good reason. Our day to day lives are full of stressors, taxing both our minds and bodies. Whether you are a professional athlete, a fitness enthusiast or working a full time job at a desk; foam rollers aid in releasing tension, destressing and improving posture and blood circulation. Coupling that with a few key stretches or dynamic mobility exercises and you have a winning recipe for a happier body.

Most runners know about foam rollers, so I am not gonna spend a ton of time discussing the “whys” and “how’s”. But the R4 does have some upgraded components to it we definitely want to touch on.

Center Groove

Unlike many foam rollers, the R4 has a center groove designed for spine and neck. Honestly, due to my day-job in front of the computer, the muscles around my spine is where many of my knots end up. It can be a real challenge to get them easily and comfortably when rolling becomes necessary. There are workarounds, sure, but it can be sort of a pain (no pun intended). Honestly, direct pressure is great on certain areas, but if you aren’t also getting the muscles around them loosened up as well, you may find yourself experiencing the same discomfort over and over. The groove in the R4 makes this area much easier to roll out. It also makes getting the muscles around other areas, including the calves, hamstrings, and IT-Band easier as well.


There are also multiple visible design patterns on the roller itself. While you may think its solely for aesthetics, the diamond structure provides some additional grip and also a few different modes of firmness to really target what you need. When I am super tender, I have been starting on the larger diamonds before transitioning to the smaller, and firmer, ones.

Speaking of firmness, the high-density EVA Foam Stays firm enough without being too stiff for its own good. While foam rolling is probably not going to be something that people jump out of bed for in the morning, it doesn’t have to be something that is dreaded. In my experience, my own personal foreboding has been due to rollers with no give or support. Essentially, they just seemingly makes rolling painful for the sake of being painful. The R4 has a little bit of give to it and the discomfort I feel is actually the good kind.


As I get older, it feels like new aches and pains and tight muscles are popping up everywhere. That is why the R4 packs quite the punch for a relatively inexpensive cost. I’ve seen some massage tools in the triple digit price range, so this being about $60 is great. Shoot, it’s probably less than the cost of most one hour massages – before tip.

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Thank you to ROLL Recovery for providing us with a test roller. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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