In this post I’m going to cover the benefits of using a foam roller, how to actually use a foam roller, and specific foam roller reviews.
Foam roller benefits
The benefits of foam rolling are alleviating muscle and muscle related joint pain, increase local blood flow, and speeding recovery of sore/tight muscles. Correctly using a foam roller will have similar benefits to deep tissue massage. Foam rolling can break up knots in the muscles and allow for proper recovery and increased performance. You can also use foam rolling to warm up muscles before working out. I like to foam roller before and after tough workouts, and have found huge benefits from increase flexibility to massive pain relief from consistently rolling. If you’re not using a foam roller now you’re definitely missing out on HUGE benefits! You need to find one to use or get your own ASAP!
How to use a foam roller
The best way to use a foam roller is to roll up and down your larger muscles (quads, hamstrings, lats, calves, and glutes), and when you find the most tender point hold the roller in that location for 30-50 seconds. Yes, that means when it hurts like CRAZY focus on your breathing and hold the foam roller on the tender spot. Don’t keep rolling past the tender spot! Holding the roller on that location will allow the muscles to relax and return to their aligned state, but you MUST keep it on the tender spot for 30-50 seconds! Foam rolling can be done at any time of the day or night, and you don’t need to warm up before foam rolling like you should before stretching.
UPDATE: I’ve found even greater benefits by holding the roller on the tender location for longer durations. I will hold for up to 5 minutes on a location that is giving me trouble.
Foam roller exercises
Foam roller reviews
There are many foam rollers on the market these days, and having used most of them I thought it would be useful for me to give you my review of the most popular foam rollers.
These are great low priced foam rollers that range from $7.99-$30. They are very firm and light weight. Because they are firm these rollers are great for attacking deep knotted muscles. The only downside is that these foam rollers can break in half easier than other rollers. I would recommend this roller if you’re on a budget and will only get used by 1-3 people regularly. Buy now
This is the softest of the foam rollers. It is also on the lower priced side
starting a $9.99. This is a good roller for people who are very sensitive to muscular pressure, but still want to relieve their muscles by foam rolling. The downside is that because this roller is soft it can get compressed and become more oval than round. Buy now
These “Grid” foam rollers are great if you like more texture out of your roller. The different “Grid” areas of the roller feel like the tension is distributed a little more than the regular roller. These rollers are a little more expensive at around $39, but if you prefer the the option of a textured feeling they can’t be beat! AllAroundJoe Favorite Buy now
The rumble roller is like the deep tissue version of the foam roller. You’re going to get the texture like the “Grid” roller, but at a much more intense level. I would recommend this roller if you really like high pressure muscular abuse. It’s a little like putting your muscles through a meat grinder which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but is more of a personal preference than something that’s going to get you more results. These rollers are more expensive starting at $44. Buy now
These foam rollers have a similar feel to the High Density foam rollers, but are higher quality. They are great for people or gyms that are going to need a basic roller that can stand up to a ton of abuse. Because of the higher quality these rollers start at $37. Buy now
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