Review: This massage ball cured my worst exercise-induced disorder

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I suffer from plantar fasciitis thanks to my flat feet and tendency to overpronation. And you know what? It hurts fucking. Maybe it’s because of the handful of miles I run a week. Part of it is definitely a genetic predisposition. But it is not really an unusual disease – 25-30% of Americans are in the same boat. As it turns out, between the 8,000 odd nerves and dozens of bones, joints and ligaments in the human foot, a lot can go wrong.

Fortunately, there are all kinds of treatments for problems like these. Changing your running pace if you participate can be one of the most critical components of a healthy foot – after all, footwork determines how the wear and tear of the running impact is distributed (the goal here is even) – and even if you do not count yourself as a running or jogging, changes in your foot shape, such as the introduction of orthotic posts, can be a lifesaver.

I myself have tried lots of soothing therapies – dropping my mileage, changing my shoes, even compression stockings. Everyone has helped to some degree, but the closest I had come to relief was a lacrosse ball. The dense rubber ball works wonders by massaging the bottom of your foot, squeezing out the tight and bruised ligament that runs from heel to toe, and easing the tension across the foot.


So imagine my delight when Hyperice, best known for their much-loved massage pistol, released a similar vibrating device, this time in ball form. The wellness brand, approved by Lebron James, Naomi Osaka and Patrick Mahomes to name a few, specializes in restoring performance, and they clearly took some inspiration from the humble little LAX ball when they created the Hypersphere.

The premise is ultra simple: Combine the effects of rolling out with the benefits of a 30W high-torque motor for a deep-tissue massage that relaxes muscles and helps with recovery. There is no denying that myofascial relief – that is the treatment, usually via massage, of sensitivity and tenderness in your myofascial tissue – is essential for optimal performance and general well-being, but even a supple Hypervolt can be hard pressed to fully treat certain parts of the body (see: football).

With a compact ball, these hard-to-reach places – feet, lower back, thighs – become much more accessible. Unlike your standard massage gun, you can also roll out on a massage ball, which means you get both the percussive effects of a massage and the tension release of a good stretch.

The thing is solid – almost three pounds – but with a rubber coating and intuitive shape, it means blowing out the Hypersphere, a blissful release. It works on three levels of power (I operate almost exclusively at intermediate level) and holds a charge for dozens of uses. All in all, it is very effective. Really, fifteen minutes of rolling across the bottom of my foot always does the trick of soothing any soreness or pain that may flame up. It’s also small enough that you can take it with you pretty much anywhere, be it the gym, the fields, even at work (best to talk to your cubic neighbors first, but the point is still). It’s even TSA approved!


In my own life, I have actually come to look forward to my post-run routine. I come home, breathe and breathe, take off my winter running clothes, pat on the couch with a beer and screw up the Hypersphere before rolling my foot out for a few pieces. It’s the perfect relaxing practice to end my workout (and usually my day). Dare I say that it is even … meditative?

Hypersphere is an incredibly useful tool, especially if you are susceptible to muscle tension and pain. There is no denying that it is a bit expensive – the massage ball costs $ 150 in retail, although a mini version is available for only $ 100 – and with a number of other techniques, the same soothing effect can be achieved. But if you have the resources and want an easy solution to soreness and tension, you really can not beat this thing. It has become an important piece of equipment for not only my running habits, but my life in general.

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