A Review of Moji Foot, Mini and Curve Pro
Foam rollers and tennis balls seem to be most runners’ best friends when it comes to self-massage, injury relief and injury prevention. The particularly nagging nemesis of plantar fasciitis is common among runners and an ice massage along the arch is a common tool to relieve pain. But, most people find it tedious to sit around holding a frozen Dixie cup or to chase after a tennis ball that keeps sliding away. Enter: Moji. This company is a wildly popular brand that’s crafted several different self-massage devices.
Use of massage in running recovery
Massage has been a therapeutic recovery tool for athletes for centuries. Active Release, Trigger Point, Swedish, and Deep Tissue are all popular types of massage utilized by runners. Massage doesn’t have to hurt to be effective – in fact, too much pressure can cause muscles to tense up or guard which makes the treatment less effective. Self-massage, when done correctly using different tools, can be a very effective practice to incorporate into your training regimen to avoid injuries.
There are many proposed benefits to massage:
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness
- Improves immune function (specifically, increases infection-fighting activity and reduces stress hormones like cortisol)
- Quicker recovery in muscle function
- Reduce adhesions in muscle/surrounding tissue, which decreases muscle tension, which can lead to better gait mechanics
However, most of us don’t have the time or money to get professional soft tissue work done as often as we’d like. Home remedies can be a very effective alternative when performed correctly and regularly.
Victor Viner is an avid athlete who founded Moji in 2007 with the goal of promoting pain-free physical activity so that people can continue to pursue their passions and dreams. He’s created a line of creative and affordable pain relief products using his backgrounds of medical school, wellness and fitness. The Moji website features a blog with warm-up videos for different types of sports and a free e-book with massage guides to different muscles. I had the chance to try out 3 of the latest Moji self-massage products: The Moji Curve Pro, the Moji Mini Pro, and the Moji Foot Pro. All three products feature high quality stainless steel spheres that are housed in a built-in non-slip base. Each size/design targets specific muscle groups and can be used in various ways to find the desired amount of pressure and angle. The products are easy to use, easy to keep clean, and have the option of being frozen to provide an ice massage!
Moji Mini Pro
Moji says this device is best for: arms, calves, quads, neck, shoulders, and IT band
The Moji Mini Pro slips nicely onto one hand and features an adjustable strap to accommodate large hands and tiny hands like mine. The product has 5 smaller stainless steel balls in the center and 2 slightly larger balls on each end. You can lay it flat for sweeping general movements, or can angle it to get more pressure on certain areas of need. This little guy is the lightest/smallest of the 3 massagers I reviewed and is also the most affordable, pricing in at around the 30 dollar range. I could see this self-massager coming in handy for travel since it’s so light and small. I liked using this one on my hip muscles like the piriformis, since it contours to be able to wrap around the hips and get into some of those sore spots better than my foam roller. I also felt that I had more leverage in using this one on my IT Band, compared to a foam roller which pretty much always has one level of “comfort”: brutal.
Moji Foot Pro
Moji recommends to use this for: Sore and tired feet, plantar fasciitis
The Moji Foot is about double the weight of the Mini and features a flat platform that you can rest on the floor with 5 of the larger-sized steel balls to roll your foot on. (It can also be easily hand-held if you’re wanting to target other muscles, but it was designed with the feet in mind and does not have a hand strap on the back since it’s made to stay secure on the floor). Even when I applied a lot of pressure to it, the Moji Foot Pro didn’t slide around the floor! The balls glide nicely and it’s easy to angle your foot to get different pressure points. I brought the Moji Foot Pro to work with me and swapped it back and forth between my feet all day. It truly felt amazing! And best of all, I didn’t have the distraction of trying to keep the old tennis ball method from rolling away. What a great concept and design!
Moji Curve Pro
Moji suggests you use the Curve Pro for: quads, hamstrings, calves, hips, shins, it band, upper/lower back, piriformis
The Moji Curve Pro is the largest of the three tools I evaluated. It’s about a foot and a half in length and features 4 extra-large stainless steel spheres. The handles are easy to grip and it’s surprisingly lightweight given it’s size. This device is definitely the best for targeting the bigger muscle groups like your quads and hamstrings. It’s also easy to use for the back and IT Band. I even had a friend use it on his neck, with rave reviews. This one can be thrown on the ground, but it doesn’t have the non-slip base and tends to wiggle around, so it’s not the best option if you’re looking for a focus on the feet.
Now for the fun part: using Moji after it’s been frozen. The spheres develop a light layer of frost that feels amazing without being uncomfortably cold. I was impressed that the massagers stayed cold for a good 20 minutes after removing them from the freezer. One down-side to using them once frozen is that, depending on your freezer temp, the ice between the spheres and the base can make the balls feel slow or sticky. When I experimented with freezer temperatures this improved. Even placing the product in the fridge provided a nice cooling bonus effect.
Why go Moji?
I usually go for the home-made / jerry-rigged self massage tools, but after testing the Moji products I will definitely be buying one. The ingenuity, ease of use and durable quality exceeds any other self-massage products I’ve experienced and I noticed a significant decrease in my typical injury-related arch and calf tightness after a few days’ use. The instructions say to clean with damp wipe or soap and water, and then air dry. A simple, effective and clean product.
If foot pain is your main concern, I would definitely go with the Moji Foot Pro. If you’re looking for diversity and portability, the Moji Mini Pro is the way to go. If you’re looking to target your bigger muscle groups like the quads and hamstring, you’ll probably like the Moji Curve Pro the best. All in all, most reviewers felt these products were more effective and provided faster results when compared to the heated and electric massagers on the market.
Other reasons to invest in Moji:
- Hygenic and easy to clean
- 1 year warranty
- No batteries to worry about
- Spheres rotate freely 360 degrees
- Slip-resistant base (only Moji Foot Pro)
- High quality construction
- Ability to vary the angle and amount of pressure easily with designs
- Ability to combine ice and massage in one step
- Contour around muscles
- Portable and travel-friendly