Battling Back Pain? Roll It Away With This Yoga Wheel We Tried and Loved
The Chirp Plexus Wheel is a deep-tissue massage, posture corrector and oh-so-satisfying back popper all rolled into one.
I've spent most of my life slumped over books, computer screens and garden beds, so my posture has never been stellar. But it reached an all-time low when I started working from home last year. With no dedicated workspace or ergonomic desk chair at home, I have two options: curl up on the couch and stare down at my screen or save my neck and sit in a metal dining chair all day, at the expense of my tailbone. Needless to say, my back isn't feeling great.
So, when I ran across an ad for the Chirp Wheel+ (their funny marketing got me), I did a little research and thought, "I'd like to try that." So I did, and I'm here to tell you that if you, too, are constantly shifting in your seat to relieve back pain or are shocked at the sight of your slouched shoulders in the mirror, these back-stretching wheels could help.
How It Works
Made up of a strong plastic core (claiming to support up to 500 pounds) and surrounded by an anti-slip, sweat-proof rubber cover, the Chirp Wheel is a new and improved take on the classic yoga wheel — a tool used to stretch muscles and improve balance in yoga practice. But what makes the Chirp Wheel different from other wheels or foam rollers? It features a spinal canal that relieves pressure on the spine, targeting the surrounding muscles instead. The result is a deep, feel-good stretch that doesn't hurt your bones. Reviewers have said that, in addition to relieving back pain, Chirp Wheels soothe their tension headaches, relax muscles and boost core strength.
The Chirp Wheel comes in three sizes that can be purchased in a bundle or individually:
- The 12-inch large wheel is great for beginners who want that satisfying back-popping sensation and prefer a long, gentle stretch.
- The 10-inch "middle-of-the-road" wheel provides a more targeted stretch and is great for wall work.
- The six-inch deep-tissue wheel gets deep down into the muscles for a stretch that feels like a really good massage. It's great for neck and thigh work and is small enough to pack in a suitcase.
I used the Chirp Wheel+ set every day for a week following this routine:
- Three minutes on the large wheel stretching my whole back.
- Two minutes of wall work with the medium wheel, stretching my mid-back all the way down to my tailbone.
- One minute on the small wheel targeting my lower back, one minute on the upper back and neck area, then about 30 seconds on the front of each thigh to open up my hips (which feels glorious). I also placed the small wheel behind my lower back while I worked to improve my posture during the day.
I'm hooked. The stretches hurt a bit at first because my back was so tight — the sensation is very similar to a deep-tissue massage. I was slightly sore the first few days, but once my body adjusted to the new movement, my back felt better than it had in years. I've noticed a visible improvement in my posture and standing up straight no longer feels like a chore. The stretches feel so good that I look forward to the routine every night as a way to relax and wind down from the day. I'd even say my sleep has improved.
Thinking about buying? Chirp offers a 60-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out basically risk-free. They also provide a 10-year warranty and free e-book filled with tips and tricks to roll away your back pain for good.