Mobility, A World Of Pain
What Is The MobilityWOD SuperNova?
The SuperNova is a relatively small self massage ball designed by Kelly Starrett, founder of MobilityWOD and author of the best-selling book 'Becoming A Supple Leopard'.
"The MobilityWOD Supernova 2.0 is a robust new redesign of one of the most popular recovery products Rogue offers. Like the original Supernova, Version 2.0 offers an alternative to traditional foam rollers and massage balls, with an improved nylon frame construction, grip-strong TPE tread, and an innovative, fully updated groove pattern for deep tissue therapy."
- Diameter: 120mm (4.72 inches)
- Scientifically developed grooves for higher global shear pressures
- Weighs just over 600 grams
"We too have grown tired of roto-tilling and steamrolling our hard working tissues. We needed a device that would allow us to create higher global shear pressures so that when we rolled, it actually made us better. So we made one." - Kelly Starrett
Kelly Starrett On The SuperNova 2.0
Pros Of The MobilityWOD SuperNova 2.0
To the untrained eyed the SuperNova (or any mobility ball for that matter) may just look like a run of the mill ball with spikes or grooves in it, but once you've given it a try you soon realize it's far more than that.
As the SuperNova is far more compact and spherical in it's shape than a foam roller we're able to target those problematic areas a bit more effectively. Your lower back, between your shoulder blades, the ITB, hamstrings and quads... it's far easier to get yourself into the right position when using the SuperNova to work your way through those areas as opposed to fumbling around with a foam roller, which quite often can't fully dig into the problematic area properly.
When foam roam rolling it's common for gym-goers to injure themselves trying to maneveur their body into the right position to target certain muscle groups, with the SuperNova that's not the case at all.
Due to its small form factor in terms of size and weight (especially when compared to a foam roller or full sized rumble roller) the SuperNova is excellent for mobility while travelling. Going overseas? Throw your SuperNova in your checked in luggage or even your carry on. Along with my books and laptop the SuperNova is now one of my staple travel tools.
Downtime from the gym while you're on holidays or travelling for work can be beneficial to allow your body to recover properly (resulting in you coming back stronger) however I recommend constantly focusing on your mobility and continuing to perform drills to aid with this recovery.
Fantastic Grip & Durability
Unlike other balls and rollers the SuperNova isn't just populated with a bunch of big spikes. The SuperNova has fingers and grooved channels to maximize grip and durability. Roll the SuperNova against a wall to hit your shoulders or put it on a carpet or hardwood floor and negotiate the best position to target your posterior chain and calves - the SuperNova isn't going anywhere... unlike foam rollers which often slide out and constantly slip while trying to perform myofascial release the SuperNova is extremely grip thanks to it's well though out design.
Cons Of The MobilityWOD SuperNova 2.0
Like all products, the SuperNova has a few shortcomings, such as...
The SuperNova is a bit pricey, there's no denying that.
Far more expensive than a tennis ball, a lacrosse ball or a foam roller.... however based on my experience the SuperNova is far better for working out those problematic areas than a tennis ball, lacrosse ball or foam roller.
In terms of the construction and appearance of the ball, is it worth the price? Just looking at it I'd say no way, but after using the ball the results and difference it makes will probably have you changing your opinion just like me.
Due to it's mobile size and strategic positioning of grooves and fingers even when applying partial force on the SuperNova it hurts!
I wouldn't necessarily say this is a con of the product itself, however it's definitely something to keep in mind when deciding if the SuperNova is right for you.
The firmness of the SuperNova is significantly harder than a regular foam roller, although slightly less than a black rumble roller which I've had the (dis)pleasure of using.
Not For Weekend Warriors
If you're inconsistent with your training, don't lift heavy or perform a lot of volume work the SuperNova may not be required.
For those office workers who do not spend their mornings throwing around heavy barbell and swinging from pull-up bars and rings the SuperNova is probably a far firmer, more expensive and painful experience than what they really need.
MobilityWOD SuperNova 2.0 Drills
There's no exact right or wrong way to use the SuperNova, as it's designed to fix your mobility issues, assist improving your recovery and increase your range of motion. I do not have a set drill I perform when I use my SuperNova as what I do is based on how my body is feeling. That said, below are the ways in which I target certain muscle groups with the SuperNova.
I find the shoulder release particularly effective, using the technique below most days.
Should You Get The MobilityWOD SuperNova 2.0?
That's entirely up to you.
If you've tried foam rolling and can't seem to get those trigger points sorted then yes, the robust, deeper targeting SuperNova may be exactly what you need.
If you find yourself encountering ongoing issues with recovery, poor range of motion and insufficient mobility then yes, pick up a SuperNova.
If you've never performed any mobility work perform e.g. foam rolling I would not recommend the SuperNova... get started with foam rolling first (as this is inexpensive and far less painful in comparison to going straight to the SuperNova) and then work your way up to the SuperNova if you still think it's necessary.
If you're on a budget and buying the SuperNova 2.0 would be stretching it then no, stick with your foam roller and a tennis ball to try and work on those points, as great as the SuperNova is if you can't afford it I wouldn't recommend stretching to get it.