You’ve finally made the decision to look for your very own foam roller. Good choice! Physical therapists, massage therapists and personal trainers have been foam rolling for years for various reasons: It warms up and prepares your muscles pre-workout by increasing blood flow and therefore reduces the risk of injuries. Done right you can easily massage your muscle tissue with your own body weight without the help of a therapist. That also helps with recovering faster from your workouts. It’s like a deep tissue massage with an inexpensive and light roller, that you can have at home and bring to the gym or class. However finding the best foam roller can be tough with a growing selection and different materials and surfaces. We put together this site that will guide you to find your perfect match and where to get it.
Ultimate Foam Roller Guide
|"The Grid" (Original) by Trigger Point Performance||5" x 5.5" (Mini)|
5" x 13" (Original)
5.75" x 26" (Grid 2.0)
|Black High Density Foam Rollers - Extra Firm||6" x 12" Full Round|
6" x 12" Half Round
6" x 18" Full Round
6" x 36" Full Round
6" x 36" Half Round
|Rumbleroller Deep-Tissue Massage Roller||5" x 12" (Black & Blue)|
6" x 31" (Black & Blue)
|White Foam Roller||6" x 36"||$||3.5|
|Ultra Deluxe Yes4All AccuPoint Roller||5" x 13"||$$||4.1|
|j/fit Deluxe Myo Body Roller||6" x 36"||$$$||4.8|
|OPTP Pro Foam Roller||6" x 36"||$$||4.1|
|Revolutionary Stealth Align Foam Roller||8" diameter||$$$||5.0|
|SKLZ TRAINERroller||6" x 24"||$$||4.4|
|Pro-Tec Athletics "The Y Roller"||6" x 15.5"||$$$||4.0|
Types of Foam Rollers
White Foam Roller – low density
Back in the day there was only one foam roller that people bought, which was the standard white foam roller. It’s the gentlest roller out there and easy on your body, especially if you’re just starting out with foam rolling. It may still be uncomfortable, but much better than with one of the higher intensity ones. Due to its low density it has a tendency to change to a more oval shape over time.
Black Foam Roller – high density
Similar to the white foam roller, this one uses a higher density foam. It maintains its form and is recommended for use after injuries, if you can’t tolerate the firmer foam rollers yet.
The Grid – higher density
If you’re experienced with foam rolling and tolerate regular foam rollers with ease, the Grid will be a step up to really work certain muscle groups.
Rumble Roller – highest density
The Rumble Roller comes in two different versions. Blue is the original and Black is the extreme density version of it for people with a very high pain tolerance. The spikes have been designed to give you the best self massage that you can get with a roller.
Benefits of Foam Rolling
The imbalance of overactive and underactive muscle groups can cause pain and discomfort. Muscle fascia starts to bind together after long periods of inactivity or injury, and your muscles are unable to move freely against each other. The result is a limited range of motion due to muscle stiffness and tightness. Foam rollers are the perfect remedy for reducing that imbalance by stretching muscle fascia, increasing flexibility and blood flow.
While a good warm up can’t be replaced by foam rolling, it definitely helps to prepare your muscles for better workouts. By loosening up your IT band, calves and glutes you’ll be able to perform much deeper squats and therefore (attention women!) better tone your butt.
Runners often have very painful acquaintances with their IT band and benefit greatly from a good foam rolling routine to prevent injuries. IT band syndrome is a result of too tight muscles. So, start getting into foam rolling to limit the risk of these exercise-related injuries.
Are you sitting all day at work and hardly ever get up to stretch your legs? Then you probably know how muscle knots feel and the stress that they can cause. Foam rolling can have a therapeutic effect, because you can perform a deep tissue massage on yourself without having to pay somebody else for it. You can do that at the comfort of your home, in front of the TV or wherever you prefer to loosen up your muscles and release these knots..
Reviews of the 5 Best Foam Rollers
The Grid Series
The most versatile and best foam roller currently available is “The Grid” series from Trigger Point Performance. It comes in three different sizes and many different colors: The Grid Mini is perfect for traveling. It’s very light weight at 5″ tall by 5.5″ diameter and even attaches to your gym bag or backpack. It won’t take up a lot of space in your suitcase either.
The Original Grid Foam Roller (5″ x 13″) and The Grid 2.0 (5″ x 26″) are the other two very popular sizes for full body foam rolling.
The advantage of The Grid series lies in the unique design with three different surfaces, that simulate a more realistic massage experience. There’s medium and tubular parts of the roller, which feels like fingers and thumbs. The small high and firm areas feel like fingertips. Last but not least, the low and flat surface feels like a forearm or palm.
The cost for these very durable rollers made from EVA foam varies based on the size. The Grid Mini starts at $25, the Original at $39 and the Grid 2.0 is at $63 on Amazon.
Black High Density Foam Roller
This extra firm foam roller has a smooth surface and is made with molded polyethylene foam technology. It’s available in both half round and full round versions, that are sized at 12″, 18″ and 36″ in length. The half round rollers are especially great for stabilization and balance exercises. The material will not lose its shape after moderate to heavy use.
If you’re a beginner or have a low pain tolerance, the Black Foam Roller might not be the one for you. It is very dense with no give and some people describe it as lying on a rock. The foam is of high quality and is odorless. The Black Foam Rollers are very affordable and range from $8 to $20 on Amazon depending on length and shape.
The bumbs of the Rumbleroller are specifically designed to be firm, but flexible. Just like the thumbs of a massage therapist. It comes in two different colors and densities: Blue, the original, and Black, the 36% firmer roller for experienced users with extra dense muscle tissue.
The shorter size with 12″ of length and 5″ diameter is perfect for travel and lets you perform most foam rolling exercises with ease. The longer 31″ x 6″ Rumbleroller is your choice for home or the gym and allows you to foam roll your whole body, especially your back.
j/fit Deluxe Myo Body Roller
Do you need more bite, but you’re not ready for the Rumbleroller yet? The j/fit Deluxe Myo Body Roller might be the perfect match for you. It comes with smaller bumps than the Rumbleroller for a good muscle tissue massage to help work out stubborn knots and tightness.
With 36″ in length and 6″ diameter, this foam roller is perfect for full body exercises at home or at the gym. The high quality EVA foam will not break down or lose its shape. It’ll allow a deeper myofascial release by assisting to apply targeted pressure on specific knotted areas.
OPTP Pro Foam Roller
The OPTP Pro Roller has been created for the demands of physical therapy and sports medicine clinics as well as yoga and pilates studios. It withstands the heaviest use and is built to outperform and outlast standard foam rollers.
The attractive marble design comes in blue and green and two different shapes: Round with 6″ diameter and 36″ in length and also a half round version with 3″ diameter and 36″ in length. While the half round roller is great for balance exercises, the round version gets the foam rolling job done better.
Foam Roller Exercises
After some getting use to and practise, foam rolling is so easy to do: Pre-workout, post workout or just at home in front of the TV to relax. You can work on your whole body and avoid injuries by loosen up your muscle, getting rid of knots and increasing blood flow. Fitness & Lifestyle Consultant Ashley Borden from www.ashleyborden.com shows you how to do a Full Body Roll-out in the video below. She’s also a well known personal trainer for celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling.