If you’ve ever experienced the full-body benefits of massage, then you know a little bit about what using a foam roller can do for you. For runners, athletes, and everyday people who work out, foam rolling can relax you, work out sore muscles, and prevent stiffness and pain.
What is Foam Rolling?
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that is used by athletes and physical therapists to inhibit overactive muscles…It is accomplished by rolling the foam roller under each muscle group until a tender area is found, and maintaining pressure on the tender areas (known as trigger points) for 30 to 60 seconds.
While there is currently a lack of research completed with actual foam rollers, it is widely recognized that foam rollers have the same effects as deep-tissue massage.
1. Trigger Point Foam Roller
Trigger Point foam rollers are beloved by athletes, therapists, and regular folks, and their reputation is well deserved. They are durable, well-designed, and this one comes with a Core Exercises DVD. The first foam roller I ever tried was a Trigger Point, and I felt an immediate difference in my body after a couple tries. For someone that is often too impatient and/or busy to get a full-body massage, the foam roller was a revelation. About $41 on Amazon.
From Trigger Point:
Just as a massage therapist uses different parts of the hand and arm to manipulate different muscle groups, The Grid’s Distrodensity Foam Zones enable you to apply varying amounts of pressure to help massage and release tight muscles. The Grid provides the perfect blend of portability and size but can support more than 500 lbs of weight.
2. M80 Groove Massage Roller
This durable and hollow foam roller is grooved and has an interesting pattern. It’s also fully waterproof to keep germs at bay. 5 X 15 inches. About $39 on Amazon.
From the company:
Roller does not have a specific Weight Capacity, but according to our Clinical Testing, we have determined a Toyota Tacoma can run it over 2 times in a row without any damage M80 Roller has a guarantee to never lose its shape.
3. Rumble Roller – Full Size
The Rumble Rollers are firm and more deeply grooved than other rollers, which makes for a deeper massage. This full size version is a favorite for serious athletes and people who work out daily. About $67 on Amazon.
From the company:
Conventional foam rollers have smooth surfaces that further compress soft tissue. Rolling on top of them improves blood flow and tissue flexibility, but the effect is limited and relatively superficial, unless you spend a lot of time rolling.
4. Travel Stick Mini Foam Roller
This is the only roller on this list that I haven’t personally tried, but it comes with a money back guarantee, so it’s a good one to try if you are a foam rolling newbie. Even if you it breaks down or gets damaged in some way, the company will send you another one for free. About $19 on Amazon.
Comes with a user guide and manual, 18 x 4 inches, about 14 oz.
5. Smart Foam Roller with Massage Stick
This foam roller is an excellent price for one with a strong core. It also comes with a massage stick. 13 X 6 inches long. About $29 on Amazon.