A foam roller is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to combat soreness and speed muscle recovery.
Research shows regularly performing foam rolling exercises offers a number of health benefits.
It releases tight muscles, enhances flexibility, and fastens recovery. Overall, it’s a lightweight tool to improve muscular performance.
But in order to foam roll, you need a foam roller. If you don’t have one, you need to buy one.
But if you are to buy one today, you’ll be faced with multiple types of foam rollers from a smooth surface, less dense roller to cylinder types with spikes.
You may also see varying lengths of foam rollers from shorter 18-inch rollers to a full length that’s longer than your torso.
No doubt, foam rollers come in different sizes, densities, and shapes.
With so many varieties and selections to choose from, it’s hard to know which roller is right for you.
So I created this guide to help you find the “perfect foam roller”.
Finding the Best Foam Roller
Here are some great foam rollers to purchase and use at home. They mostly come in 3 sizes.
- 12” long x 6” diameter.
- 18” long x 6” diameter.
- 36” long x 6” diameter.
1. White Foam Roller— Basic and Best for Beginners
This roller is perfect for anyone who prefers a soft touch or massage.
This is the easiest and gentlest of all foam rollers. It can be used on almost anyone.
This is a good one if you are new to foam rolling and just getting started. While foam rolling can be painful and uncomfortable especially at first, you will find it much less painful on these less dense rollers than harder and bumpy ones. The cost for this foam roller is around $7.00-15.00.
The way you use these rollers is no different than all the other rollers.
You simply lay your target area across the roller. Apply light pressure using your body resistance and roll up and down. You can see “how to foam roll” your entire body here in this infographic.
2. High Density Foam Roller
These rollers look just like the white foam roller, except with a higher density foam.
This is the one I recommend as your go-to foam roller if you are injured and cannot tolerate firmer foam rollers. This black roller will maintain its form even after a heavy use and still provides you with a great roll out. These typically cost around $12 to $32 depending on the length.
3. Grid Foam Roller
The “Grid Foam Roller” is a denser, firmer roller than the black one.
It has uncompromising density to it, and if you are nursing a sore muscle, it can be painful. If you’re new to foam rolling, this may feel too hard or too dense, and rolling on them can possibly create a painful experience.
However, for those with some foam rolling experience under their belt, the extra density may give the muscles the hardness they need to feel the effect of rolling.
Regardless, it is a great roller to have when you move past the initial phase of tolerating more than just foam. You can also use it for traveling. The grid rollers start at $39.95
As a starting roller, you may want to shop a softer, less firmer roller such as the black one.
4. Firm, Rumble Roller
If you need to advance your foam rolling, this foam roller is the one. Also, if you’re looking for something extra firm, then this is highly recommended over the other foam rollers on this list.
These firm and rumbly rollers are also excellent for getting into hamstrings and gastroc muscles that may be sore. They can also help correct iliotibial band issues and piriformis pain. You can find full-length rumble rollers starting around $44.95
5. Muscle Roller Stick
The roller stick is great for people who want to really control how much pressure they are applying to their target muscles. It is also much thinner and smaller, making it suitable and more convenient for traveling.
Just as foam rollers, you can use a roller stick to massage your quads, hamstrings, calves or IT band. On average, they go anywhere from $10 to $29 depends on the brand and quality.
There you have it.
Foam rolling really does your body good. And the best thing is, they are affordable and take very little time to perform.
So grab your foam roller and start rolling your way to a better muscle health, loosen knots and tightness, as well as improved blood circulations.