Top 10 Foam Rollers
Exercising is not all about the weights; you would need equipment like foam rollers to make it perfect. Foam rollers are a great addition that can help you achieve incredible results in your workout session. Foam rollers are lightweight, cylindrical tube of long compressed foam.
There are various reasons why you should consider getting foam rollers in your exercise routine. It can help you achieve flexibility, reduced soreness, and eliminated muscle knots.
Foam rolling is one of the best methods of myofascial release, and according to research, it was revealed that the best results have been achieved from 30 to 90 seconds of using the rollers on each muscle and combining them with static stretching.
There are different types of foam rollers, and these differences are as a result of how firm they are, and the various sizes they are. Also, you should note that the colors are synonymous to the colors.
You might wonder how the foam roller came to being. The foam roller was first used by Feldenkrais method practitioners in the 1980s. The equipment had been invented by Moshe Feldenkrais, sometime in the second half of the 20th century.
The primary purpose of this equipment being produced was to help in the reduction of pain and other mobility issues. As well as enhancing physical functioning by increasing the awareness of clients, concerning their bodies.
Moshe first used this equipment on his own body, to improve his athletic performance. Soon, by the year 1987, Sean Gallagher began the use of the roller as a self-massage tool. Foam rolling was introduced into the physical fitness world by Mike Clark during the 1990s. He pushed the book to popularity by the release of a couple of journals on the importance of what he claimed caused ‘’self-myofascial release’’.
To help you get the best foam roller and serve best for your purpose, today we will go through a comprehensive guide which includes how the foam rollers work, types, advantages, buying guide, frequently asked questions and the top 10 best foam rollers in the market.
Top 10 Foam Rollers
Great For Pre & Post Workout Session
Great Pain Reliever
Helps To Feel Relaxed
Great For Relieving Pain
Great Self Messager
Free From Chemicals
How Do Foam Rollers Work?
There is one question you might want to ask yourself, ‘’How do foam rollers work, how do I even use them.’’ There are different ways in which you can make use of foam rollers and the best foam roller exercises, and below are some listed;
Do you want to give yourself a deep muscle massage? Then using a foam roller is the way to go. You can always massage yourself by rolling over various parts of your body. This helps in the breakage of adhesions and scar tissue, and will hence, speed up healing and recovery after exercising. The foam roller can be used to loosen common areas of tightness such as the outer thighs, quads, or the upper back.
How: Place yourself on the roller, then make use of your body weight to roll back and forth over the foam roller slowly. Make sure you are not supporting your body with your hand, instead ensure that your body is relaxed on the roller.
Your body also responds naturally to foam rollers. Whenever you roll over tight spots on your body, as well as trigger points, your muscle is bound to relax. Especially when it’s a tight spot, by applying pressure on it might be of greater good than when you roll back and forth.
How: To make use of this for your upper back, position the roller under your shoulder blades, then have your arms crossed around your chest. Then, lift your body off the floor and apply pressure on the tight area using your body weight. Stay in that position for about 60 seconds.
To Use This for Neck: Lay on your back on the foam roller carefully placed under your neck. Make sure your head is rested on the foam roller. Hence, there would be gentle pressure on your neck. Carefully turn your head to the side, or side and down. You should hold this position for about 60 seconds.
Push up or Planks:
If you are looking to engage your core muscles more, carrying out exercises on unstable surfaces can be of help. With foam rollers, planks or push-ups can be more tasking.
How: Place or both hands on the foam roller when you are performing planks or push-ups. You might also decide to have the roller under your feet instead. In both cases, your body will work so hard to remain stable.
When carrying out the Savasana pose, there is every possibility that your lower back might bother you. However, you can get rid of this with the foam roller. Do you also need help with the extended triangle pose? Using a short roller can help you with balance. You can always use rollers in many yoga poses and exercises. It will help more with your muscles than a yoga block will.
Strengthen Your Core:
If you are working out on your abs, with the foam roller, you can take it to the next level. Using a foam roller will force your core to work harder because it is on an unstable surface.
How: Lay on the roller while your knee is bent, and your feet are flat on the floor. Have your hand clasped behind your head, and your elbows out. Lift your head and shoulders off the roller, also, try to lift your foot off the floor slowly. Do this continually for about ten times.
Extend Your Stretch:
The foam roller is a perfect prop if you are looking to stretch. It can also be used to increase the range of motion of your hamstring. You can also do the same with your lats.
Build Your Balance:
Just as there are the balance boards and discs, you can also make use of the foam roller in performing some balance exercises. You can do activities like a rolling lunge, by taking advantage of the cylindrical shape of the foam roller.
How: Have the back of your foot placed on the foam roller. Bend your front knee and have your back leg extended straight as you go into a lunge, then sliding your chin over the top of the roller. Rise gently from the lunge, thereby pulling the roller towards yourself as you stand.
Rehab Your Feet:
After a long walk, or you had a long day at the office, especially in your heels, you need to get something done on your feet. You need to get your feet off that footwear and get on that foam roller.
How: Place the foam roller under your foot’s arch. Add continuous pressure to the foot’s arch by leaning on the foot with your body weight. You can repeat this back and forth.
Crack Your Backs Safely:
You can carry this out by simply placing the foam roller on the floor, while you sit in front of it, and your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Lay back with your hips slightly on the floor. Roll your body gently over the roll, thereby pushing your torso away from your feet. You will feel your back crack as you do this. However, when you feel pain, you should stop.
Advantages of Using Foam Rollers
Other than the myofascial release function of foam rollers, and the fact that they are not expensive, there are various health benefits, which include;
An Increase in Blood Flow
In the process of conducting myofascial releases, muscles are being loosened. In the application of force to the muscles and connective tissues, the blood is squeezed out and there is a replacement by fresh blood. Since blood is a carriage of vital nutrients like oxygen and glycogen, the higher the blood flow, the better a person’s health.
When the muscle is well hydrated and loose, they tend to move past each other without much friction occurring. Hence, during workouts, it is less likely for muscles to be pulled and damaged.
Improved Motion Range
When the muscle is stretched correctly and lubricated, there is an enhancement in the range of motion. An increase in range of motion means that there can be the recruitment of more muscles, which makes workout routines more effective. With an increased motion range, there is increased flexibility.
Reduction in Risk of Injury
It has been established that effective self-massage increases circulation through the body. The flexibility and improved movement that results from foam rolling help in the reduction of risk of injury. This is because there is increased coordination of the body. Hence, there is a lesser risk of an improper movement that can lead to injury. Also, in the advent of an injury, effect self-massage can help reduce recovery time.
The rolling foam exercise is known to reduce recovery time as well as lower the chances of an individual being exposed to injury. In this case, if the athletes stay longer being healthy, they would be able to achieve more results in activities. Foam rolling is an essential exercise in these situations.
Types of Foam Rollers
There are different types of foam rollers, based on length and density. Listed are the various types of foam rollers
Low-Density Foam Roller
They are the lightest form of foam rollers there are, and they are also the softest. These foam rollers are best when you are using it in an exercise class, or if earlier in the week, you have had a more intense workout.
It is not impossible that one feels pain when using foam rollers, as they have been designed to work out knots in the muscles. These knots are also referred to as the trigger points. Foam rolling can also be as intense as a deep massage. In the case where there is much pain, it would be best to make use of the low-density foam roller.
Firm Foam Rollers
The firm foam rollers are the densest foam, and when you make use of them, they are the hardest. These foams are used in occasions where there is a need for a much more intense, deeper and concentrated myofascial release.
This foam is best for athletes that want to recover as fast as possible so that they can train harder. You should know that the firmness of the foam roller is directly proportional to the intensity of the rolling session. This roller is for those that know what they are getting into by using it and want it.
Short Foam Rollers
These foam rollers can either be firm and soft in density. However, they are about half the size of the normal foam roller. These foam rollers are mainly used when there is a need to focus on a particular part of the body. These short foam rollers are straightforward to maneuver, and store, unlike the longer ones.
Bumpy Foam Roller
These are foam rollers that have a form of texture, which could be bumpy knobs or wave-like ridges that are embedded in the foam. This texture is included, so that it digs deeper into the knots and release them as quick as possible.
Medium Density Foam Rollers
This is the best foam roller for persons that are not sure of what type is right for them. They are multi-purpose in function, which could either be when you are performing specific exercises or you are doing stretches.
Buying Guide for Foam Rollers
When you are out to choose the perfect foam roller for you, these are some few factors you should consider:
The frequency with which you would make use of the foam roller will determine how dense the foam roller should be. If you are going to be using the foam roller at a very high frequency, it is advisable that you get a denser one, this would make them last longer. However, if you are not going to be making use of them frequently, it is better if you choose a less dense one.
You have to know the right size for you or any other user. The size you would get depends on what you need the foam for, and on the fact or question of the roller being taken on journeys, or frequently moved around.
What you need the roller for would determine the type you would go. If you are an athlete and you need to get relieved as fast as possible, the harder ones would be best. If you are a newbie and you don’t really know, it might be best to go for a soft one or one in between.
How durable the product is, should also be considered. You don’t want to get a product that will get spoilt after a few months of usage. Go for the best product, even if it is costly.
Ease of Use:
When you find one that suits your needs, how easy would it be to use. Would you be able to handle and maneuver it as swift as possible? Is it anti-slip, does it stay when left alone? Consider these and other questions of easy use that comes to mind.
Different texture achieves different results, so it is advisable to know the result you want, and have a pre-information on what texture of roller would suffice for your needs. You can test the various rollers on your body, if you don’t know which would suit you best prior to buying.
As a beginner, it would be best to start with a softer foam roller, then move to the more aggressive ones later. This would be easier as you get used to the rolling over time. How firm and how rough a roller is will determine how aggressive the massage will be.
The different brands of foam roller makers have their benefits. However, you should consider getting a compact foam roller if you would be traveling to and fro the gym. You should pick a roller that is longer if it is going to be left where it is being used. Different lengths of the rollers are customized for various movements
You should know that you will get what you pay for, and what you buy will be dependent on how much you want to spend on the foam roller. So, quality is directly proportional to the price. Keep that in mind.
1. Strauss Yoga Foam Roller – Our Pick
Here is a best seller product, and it is a holistic approach towards a healthy, balanced mind and body. With this roller, you can roll out any point of your back, and you can always apply pressure on your whole body.
You can also ease the pain from plantar fasciitis by simply stretching. This product is made with quality materials, which will never lose its shape, and last long. Even when used constantly and heavily, it will remain in the best of forms.
This roller is built to last, and it is made from top grade materials. It would never lose its shape over time. It is a very light roller, which can be transported very easily. This is the best equipment to reduce discomfort by simply rolling, and it can also get rid of inflammation.
It also has a compact size which makes it possible to target specific parts of the body, including joints. With this roller, improving blood circulation becomes a piece of cake; hence, the max flow of blood to the muscles and soft tissues. It is the best foam roller for beginners and athletes. It is advanced, yes, but it is of good use for beginners.
- t is made of EVA foam
- It is very lightweight and soft to touch
- It is waterproof, anti-slip and non-toxic.
- It is just perfect, neither too hard or too soft
- It is very sturdy
- It gets the job done for beginners as well as professionals
- It is suitable for use before or after gym sessions
- It is very effective in releasing muscle tension
- It might not be really suitable for persons with extra weight
- It does not come with a carry bag
2. Pytho Foam Trigger Massage Roller – Great For Before And After Workout Session
This is a very quality foam roller and the best foam roller brand, and it would be a great addition to your gym. It has small spikes that are made of medium density foam, and they are dense enough to provide for exceptional relief for your stressed muscles. Irrespective of how professional it is in scope, it can also be of great use for beginners.
With progress in rolling as an exercise, you get to loosen up, however, you should beware of pain or breakpoints, to avoid injury. You should take things gradually, and work on your consistency as you become more professional.
This roller is designed to have compact projections which afford for a grid pattern for full coverage and proper spacing, which would ensure that it has maximum effect on your body. This is what makes it best foam roller for athletes.
With this roller, you get to enjoy decreased muscle and joint pain. It also helps you relax and restore your fascia. It results in better flexibility, joint mobility and increases your range of motion. This piece is great for use before or after workout sessions.
It is very useful in preventing injuries and pulling of your muscles. This is all you need for de-stressing and relaxing after a long day.
- It has a compact size and made of quality material
- It is designed to be portable and effective
- It features 3 massage zones
- It can be used for hamstrings
- It can help relieve your back muscles
- It stays still and wouldn’t slip when you are rolling
- The studs that are featured are properly engraved to give a good feel to the body.
- It is not very durable
3. Auxter Fitness Massage Foam Roller – Great Pain Reliever
This foam roller has bumps which make it function like the thumbs of a massage therapist. This allows it to deliver a very deep muscle penetration. This is the Best foam roller for back pain.
It is designed to be of small size, with bumps that knead deep into the contours of the body, gently stretching soft tissue in multiple directions to erode the trigger points. This would help it restore flexibility to the muscles as well as relief of pain.
With the use of this roller, your muscles are well cared for, and you can enjoy a seamless flow of blood in the body, to the various muscles. This foam roller is a tube foam roller, and with ease, it would handle weight up to about 130kg. If you are out there, new to the foam rolling game, hence you need one that wouldn’t cause you much pain in working your muscles, this is the right one.
- It is a tube foam roller
- It is made of bumped texture
- It has a compact size
- You are able to control the amount of pressure applied per roll
- It restores flexibility a great deal.
- It is a very good product for the price
- It is suitable only for beginners.
4. House Of Quirk Foam Roller – Treat Soreness
With this roller comes to experience with a difference. It helps you in treating yourself to an intense and effective massage, with rids you of soreness, and a deep stretch that actually eases tension. It affords a deep roll that promotes a better flow of blood. This roller is actually designed for results, and it is just simple and plain.
This roller is firm; hence, it is more beneficial. It can help you with soreness after your gym session; it would also work your cores. You tight back would be stretched, and it helps with physical therapy. This is just the best foam roller you can get at its price range
- It comes in multiple sizes you can always choose from
- It is designed to be sturdy and not lose shape
- It is made from premium materials
- It was made using extra firm polypropylene.
- It is very effective in easing pain
- It is very easy to use
- It is very firm
- A user has questioned its durability
5. Fitsy Health & Fitness Massage Foam Roller – Great Quality
The Fitsy health and fitness massage foam roller is just ideal for self-massage and every form of balance training. This foam roller is made of very good quality material which is resistant to wear and tear and can be easily cleaned. This foam roller is very lightweight and durable. This product is made from quality EVA foam and has a textured dotted surface.
This foam roller is just great for working on the lower part of the body, as it helps in the alleviation of soft tissue tightness at the leg, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. The foam roller also provides excellent stretching of the muscles, as well as providing relief in the tendon. It also leads to an increase in the circulation of blood in the body. The custom design raised grid pattern bumps are firm but flexible.
With this product, you enjoy decreased muscle pain, as well as relaxation and restoration of a fascia better flexibility, joint mobility and range of motion. It is great to make use of this equipment before you start or when you are done with workout.
With this, you can prevent muscle pain, as well as a reduction in your risk of being injured. Even if you need to relax, this foam roller is your best shot at it. it is one of the best fitness tools that help your body witness quick recovery.
- It has a rough texture for more efficient muscle workout.
- It is made of quality EVA foam
- The EVA foam is of a high density
- It is very good for leg massage
- It is very easy to use
- It is very durable
- It can be hard for beginners
6. Klapp High Density Foam Roller – Helps To Feel Relaxed
This is just the equipment you need after a great deal of regular exercise, and you need relief from the pain. This is a great alternative to other forms of pain relief, with this roller, you will be free and have a seamless flow of blood.
It also brings about increased flexibility and joint pain relief. With the foam roller, all you need to do is a deep roll out, which would relieve and help you relax your sore muscles.
This foam roller will help you apply just the right amount of pressure and intensity on the stressed muscles. Foam rollers are the best when you one who spends more time in sitting, workout and sports, which can lead to pain and inflexibility.
These rollers can be used at home or at the gym, you don’t need to think much of what foam roller you should get. The Klapp roller is the best foam roller to use before or after exercising, as it makes you feel relaxed and makes your body flexible. It is the best foam roller for athletes. With your own body weight, you can improve on your blood circulation to the various tissues of the body.
- It is made to be portable and easy to carry
- It is made of non-toxic foam and a solid design
- It is designed uniquely with bumps.
- It is very suitable for core stability
- It is great equipment for muscle flexibility
- It is very ideal for self-massage
- It is not a very hard foam roller as it might have been described by seller
7. Deeplex Muscle Roller Massage Stick – Great For Relieving Pain
If you are an athlete, this is just the best massager for you. This foam roller helps you with soreness, cramping pain and helps in total relief of cramps. It helps your leg and back recover as best as it can, and one cool thing, you can always travel with this.
This foam roller is all you need for your complete muscle stress relieve. With this Deeplex roller, knots tied around your shoulders can be relieved as fast as possible. This would improve your performance, hence, productivity.
- It has an ergonomic design as per its handle
- It has a rough texture for great functions.
- It is perfect for you as an athlete
- It is bound to last longer than other common ones
- It is very efficient with muscle pain and aches
- No negative points mentioned about the roller
8. The Sweatshop Foam Roller – Great Self Messager
Using a foam roller regularly is known to provide benefits which range from injury recovery, decreased muscle, and joint pain. There is also increased circulation of blood, and this is what this roller will offer you, in ways you can’t even imagine. This roller is designed specially to prepare you as an athlete for top performance.
If you need to work out a few peaks in your routine too, this roller is the bomb. This roller can also be used to relieve the tension in your neck. You can achieve this by having the roller under your neck.
This foam roller is designed to compress and roll across your muscles in a bid to improve flexibility and optimize your movement. It also has an ergonomic handle, which makes it relatively easy to control and leverage the pressure for targeting hard to reach muscle knots.
This roller can also help to effectively massage your lower and upper body muscle groups, which includes your calf, hamstring, quads and your back. This improves on your mobility in a very swift manner. Few weeks into using this roller, and you are on top of your game.
The roller is also fashioned in such a way that you are able to control the pressure, and reduce soreness of your muscles. Hence, circulation is increased which ultimately results in quicker recovery. One cool thing about this roller is that, you can always use it when standing or sitting.
- It has a length of 50cm
- The handle is ergonomically designed
- It has a characteristic streamline texture that helps it achieve more knot dissolution
- It is very perfect for its purpose
- It is a very easy to use
- It might not really be an excellent equipment for athletes.
9. Aurion Foam Roller – Free From Chemicals
This roller is one with an average hardness and all and sundry can use it. If you are looking to perform an efficient self-myofascial release, this is the right equipment, right here.
The roller is designed with different areas raised for different types of massage hitting your muscles from different angles. The roller is nature-friendly and it is made using an energy-saving production process.
This foam roller is also free of propellants and chemicals. The roller is very easy to clean, it is not affected by water, and you wouldn’t be worried about any odor.
- It is made of quality EVA muscle massage foam rollers
- It is designed to be mobile and light weight
- It is well invested to heal your body of pains
- It is very effective and small enough to carry around
- It is very easy to use, there is no need for instructions
- It is not long enough for some other exercises.
10. Strauss Foot/Hand Massage Roller – Ease Pain
The Strauss foot massage roller is designed specifically to relieve foot pain that had been caused by conditions like heel spurs and ball-of-foot pain. You can always control the intensity of the massage by choosing the amount of pressure you want to apply on the roller. This is the ultimate pain relief for you.
Funny, but this product is too easy to use, and it would serve good in relieving you of stress. This equipment is perfect for self, trigger point therapy and targeted deep tissue massage.
You can always make use of this roller, before or after exercising. This is perfect for feet of all sizes. With it, you are assured of improved blood circulation as well as easing of painful trigger points.
- It has an ergonomic design
- It is made of good quality material that is safe, non-toxic and smells of no chemical.
- It is portably designed
- It has a good build quality
- It helps in improving blood circulation
- It might not be great for professional purpose
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When rolling, should I roll fast or slow?
When you are engaged with foam rolling, the best way is to roll slowly. If you roll fast, you would only be doing a superficial form of work. When rolling, you should ensure that it is slow and firm. This will help you treat the trigger points and tight muscles. Rolling slowly is an effective means of rolling.
2. What size of a foam roller is the best?
There are numerous types of foam rollers, and it might be difficult for you to decide which one is best for you. However, there are some questions you should ask yourself to know which is best for you, and they are;
- What muscle groups do I want to use it for? If you are going to be using the roller for your legs, hip flexors or glutes, then it is best to get a larger one. For smaller muscles in the shoulders and neck region, smaller rollers are best.
- Will I need to take it with me on a travel? If you plan to take the roller with you on a journey, then you should get a smaller one that can easily find its place in your suitcase.
- How dense do I want the foam roller to be? You might not know how you will react to the various densities of rollers there is. Hence, you should try the multiple densities on your body at the store, before picking one.
3. Do you have to experience soreness when foam rolling?
Sure, you will always feel sore when you are foam rolling. It will surely get uncomfortable if you are starting out. The more you roll, the easier it gets. It is just like getting a deep or sports massage, it gets deep in your muscles. This can lead to soreness sometimes, this is so that your muscles are relaxed and loosened.
4. Am I in danger when I get clicks in my back?
No. Once there is no sharp pain when you foam roll, it is normal to get clicks and faint pains in your back. In fact, experiencing this helps to improve the mobility of that particular joint, and the muscles around it are more relaxed.
5. Are foam rollers mainly for the back?
No, they are not. They are not designed for a specific part, except otherwise stated by the manufacturer. Foam rollers can be used on every part of the body. It can be used on the lower torso, it can be used on the limbs, it can be used on the glutes, just about any part of your body where it can roll.
6. For how long should I roll?
It depends on your preference or recommendation by the therapist. But, on an average, it is better to roll for a range of between 5 – 10 minutes, at least 2 – 3 times a day. It should be about 1 – 2 minutes for a muscle group until you no longer feel the pain.
Below mentioned are some of the best foam rollers in the market. From these, our top three expert picks include Strauss Yoga Foam roller, Pytho Foam Trigger massage roller for athletes and Auxter Fitness Massage Foam Roller with some of the best qualities.
Foam rollers are great self-myofascial release equipment, and a great addition to work out and exercises. You don’t need to get someone paid to do your massage, you can self-massage and get the relief you desire. The advantages in the use of this equipment speaks for it, and you should take advantage of it in improving your overall physical health.