Many of these requests are immediate disregarded as the manufacturers request a positive review, which I can never guarantee. Then there are the multitude of requests for products that I simply do not feel are all that relevant to the CFB audience. Those are politely declined.
Happily, every now and then I receive a request to review a product that I really find intriguing, with no strings attached. The Rotater by Joint Mechanix is one such product.
The concept behind The Rotater is that it allows you to passively self-stretch internal and external should rotation to increase shoulder function, range of motion and performance. The website goes on to explain that The Rotater duplicates the shoulder stretches manually applied by a physical therapist or athletic trainer. As you use The Rotater, you will increase the flexibility and range of motion (ROM) of your shoulder joint.
The package I received contained
- The Rotater (mine was orange)
- Velcro Wrist Strap
- Strongarm Attachment (medium resistance tubing)
- Plastic Handle for Strongarm Attachment
- Instructional DVD
- Instruction Sheet
Quite honestly, when I first opened the box I wasn't wowed. The Rotater itself is made of a heavy plastic and as a total package the components are fairly simplistic. With that said, the beauty of The Rotater is in its simplicity.
As a tool for static stretching, The Rotater absolutely accomplishes what it sets out to do. After completing both the internal and external rotation exercises it was easy to see how The Rotater effectively places the elbow and shoulder in such a position as to ensure a maximal stretch with proper form -- mitigating the chance of injury.
To Stretch, Or Not To Stretch
The topic of static stretching as part of a warm-up routine has been addressed more than once here on CFB (most recently, in May 2010).
While I personally do not incorporate static stretching as part if my warm-up, I do feel there is a place for it in anyone's health routine. And, if you're recovering from injury, there is substantial research supporting the use of static stretching during rehabilitation as a means for shortening the period of time of regaining normal range of motion (ROM).
I haven't had The Rotater long enough to benefit from the strengthening exercises you are able to accomplish using the strongarm attachment. I'll leave that review for another time.
However, as a stretching tool The Rotater has definitely alleviated a few tight spots I had in my left shoulder, making my Clubbell workouts much more effective this past week.
I want to thank Chris Melton at Joint Mechanix for sending me The Rotater to evaluate for CFB readers. Great job Chris! I would recommend The Rotater without any reservations.
Note: If you’re suffering from an injury you should always follow the instructions of your own doctor and physical therapist, as they will put you on a rehab program specific to your shoulder problem and your fitness level.
Train hard; stay strong.