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Foam Rolling 101: Which is Right for You?

Foam Rolling 101

Ten years ago this may not have been a common sight in most fitness facilities, but now it’s a regular occurrence to see gym-goers using foam rollers mid/post-workout. Some studios even offer classes dedicated to the technique of foam rolling! With no shortage of selection when it comes to deciding on your foam roller of choice, we help make narrowing down your options easier.

Half-Round Foam Rollers

Useful for more than just myofascial relief, half-round foam rollers are also great exercise accessories for core and balance training, especially as they can enhance proprioception after injury to the knees or ankles. They are also ideal as an introduction to stability training on the foam roller as the flat surface provides a higher degree of safety and control.

Soft Density vs Hard Density

Especially for those new to muscle and fascial release using foam rolling, it can be a less-than-comfortable experience when tight muscles combine with your bodyweight against the foam roller, so it is best to start with a softer version. As you become more and more accustomed to working with a foam roller, you can progress to a harder density roller. Color can sometimes be indicative of how soft/firm a roller is, with blue typically representing a softer density and purple or black signifying those that are less pliable.

Inflatable Body Rollers

Great for rehab and active aging clients, inflatable body rollers offer the ability to easily adjust the level of firmness provided by the accessory. Inflatable rollers are especially functional for travel and portability with their ease of deflation and inflation. Keep in mind that the softer the roller is, the more challenge there will be to balance and stability.

Massage Sticks

While we all wish we could visit the spa for a weekly massage, the next best option is to take relief into your own hands. Handheld and compact, massage sticks are designed specifically to alleviate tension, minimize stiffness and perform highly-targeted massage. For a firm impact, the Total Body Roller is your best bet. If you require precision targeting for specific muscles, the Flex Massage Stick is designed to contour the body and its massage wheels can be reconfigured so that you get the right impact in the right spot.

Massage Point Rollers

Ready to dig deep? A massage point foam roller is likely just the tool you’re looking for. Reserved for those who have had a lot of experience and exposure to foam rolling, these types of rollers have protruding spikes that target trigger points and deeply massage muscle tissue.

18″ vs 24″ vs 36″

A standard roller is 36 inches long, but what’s the functionality of 18″ and 24″ rollers? Mostly, these shorter rollers are suited for travel and easy portability. However, another consideration to note is that each roller can have the dual functionality of also being incorporated into your workout as an exercise prop for a full mat workout. Use them in a variety of different ways for moves like Ab Preps, Leg Circles, Bend & Stretch and even Breast Stroke and Swan Dive to help develop greater body awareness, balance and control.

If you had to narrow it down to your top three rollers, which would you choose? Leave us a comment sharing your favorite rolling tools!

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