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The Meglio Lacrosse Massage Ball refreshes the parts other self-myofascial release equipment cannot reach. If a foam roller is a tank that crushes out tight spots, a massage ball is a sniper that targets specific 'trigger points' and takes them out one by one.
A lot of athletes use massage balls and foam rollers. Both basically do the same job of myofascial release (aka massage), which works by softening the connective tissue after exercise for greater flexibility. It increases blood flow to damaged muscles and reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). And of course it's useful for rehab after an injury.
The Lacrosse Massage Ball is 6.5cm in diameter, small enough to exert a good amount of pressure, and it's very dense and heavy. You can't crush it. Although the packaging is mute on construction, by the feel and smell it's some kind of rubber... if you like sniffing new tyres (seriously, does anybody not?) you'll love this.
The surface has a little bit of squidge, so as well as feeling comfortable against the skin, it doesn't slip.
The Meglio comes with a handy drawstring bag to stop it rolling away and to keep it clean, plus an exercise guide for newbies – although if you have sore legs or cramp, it's not difficult to work out.
My review of the Meglio Grid Foam Roller prompted a comment about somebody's physio recommending a smooth rather than a knobbly roller, since if a muscle knot falls in a gap it doesn't get rolled.
Individual preferences aside, a lacrosse ball such as this is arguably better than both types of roller for targeting specific knots – particularly where they might be fairly deep in big muscles such as the glutes. It's pretty good for getting into backs and feet, too.
But do you really need a specific ball for massage? Well, you don't really – coaches and physios often recommend a tennis ball, which can be had for around 50p.
But this is well made, entirely suited to the purpose and, at £7.99, good value for something so useful (the foam-surfaced Trigger Point MB 1 is £11.99, for example). Especially if, like me, you find that buying something for a specific purpose makes you more likely to use it.
Well made, very effective and will last a lifetime
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Meglio Lacrosse Massage Ball
Size tested: N/A
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Meglio says: "Effective on almost any part of the body, the massage ball can be used to target specific trigger points and release muscle tension."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
According to Meglio: "The Massage Ball's firm surface massages your soft tissue keeping it healthy and free of aches and pains, and because of its size, it's perfect to pop in your gym pack or travel with. It uses your body weight to apply targeted pressure to the affected area – meaning you can use it anywhere – watching TV, at your desk or after a workout at the gym.
"Because it uses your body weight, you can adjust the amount of pressure easily by using different surfaces, or by reducing the amount of weight you put on the ball. You can use the Lacrosse Massage Ball for your hips, calves, IT band, hamstrings, back, quads, shoulders and even your neck."
Very solid and neatly made.
Very robust – will last a lifetime.
Heavy is good in this instance.
It's a heavy, solid ball but the surface is slightly squidgy, meaning it's comfortable against the skin and doesn't slip.
What cycling equipment can you get for £7.99? Exactly. But it's not just that it's cheap – it can help recovery, reduce soreness and ultimately make you fitter and faster, so value is high.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great for finding trigger points in bigger muscles like the glutes, and ideal for getting to spots for that foam rollers can't.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft surface over a solid base allows a decent amount of pressure on knots in relative comfort. Oh, and it smells like new tyres...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's ballpark... I know, I made that same joke about the Meglio Swiss Ball, but this is 2020 and I RECYCLE. We've never reviewed another lacrosse ball on road.cc so don't have any house reviews to compare it to, but the similar, rubber WOVTE ball is £5.59 online. Alternatively the Trigger Point MB 1 has an EVA foam surface and costs £11.99 – the Meglio sits fairly neatly between the two.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's professional physiotherapist's kit, from a supplier to NHS hospitals, and does exactly what it should. Consequently, the price is the only quibble. I would say it'd be a 10 if it were 'free' on prescription, but that would actually make it more expensive... and while you could slum it with a tennis ball for around 50p, this Lacrosse ball is perfectly suited to the task and a solid nine.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem