Foam Roller Shopping

As a follow-up to my foam roller post the other day, I want to do a shopping post!

Here are the foam rollers I considered buying, and why I did (or did not) choose them for my home gym.  First, I think the mantra “different strokes for different folks” is going to apply here.  We all have different bodies and different issues and different pain thresholds.  What works for me is not going to be what works for my husband, momma, dad, or neighbor.  BUT.  I can do some legwork for you and make your googling a little easier, right?

LuxFit Premium High Density Roller – Not going to lie, people.  I bought this because it was the #1 rated foam roller on Amazon and I am a sucker for the ratings.  However, I did put a little more thought into it than just the rating.  First, the price.  Can’t beat the price on Amazon.  Next, there are three sizes available – 12″, 18″ and 36″ lengths.  Not being an experienced foam roller, I went for the middle size.  I am really glad I did.  I am not a big person, and I am pretty sure the 12″ would have been too small for me to maneuver on well.  I like that I can shift from one side of my back to the other easily, without falling off the end of the roller.  Similarly, I think the 36″ would have been too big for me – again though, just based on my frame.

LuxFit Foam Roller (hollow and bumpy style) – this one looks way cooler than the one above, but it is more expensive.  Plus, I was reading about how rolling can be painful at first, and I was nervous that the bumps might make the process even more painful.  If you are an experienced roller looking for some added pressure, this could be for you!

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller – This is the #2 seller on Amazon, and it looks really awesome.  However, it was 3x as expensive as the one I bought, and because I wasn’t sure I was going to love foam rolling, it seemed prudent to be budget friendly.  Also, some of the reviews noted that their roller had cracked or broken because the roller isn’t one piece.

AmazonBasics High Density Foam Roller – Guys, this could be my foam roller’s twin.  They look the same and are the same price.  Mostly, I didn’t order it because it was the #3 seller.

Master of Muscle Foam Roller – How cool looking is this guy?  I almost bought this one because of the claims that it is like your own personal massage therapist (Um, YES!!!!) but the 13″ length gave me pause.  This might be a good one to take along to the gym or when traveling, but in the end, wanted a roller that was a big longer.

I hope this helps you shop for a foam roller that meets your needs.  If you have one you love that I haven’t mentioned, please post!

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Foam Rolling

Foam rolling!  So easy, so amazing!

I must have been living under a rock, because for a gal who runs, goes to yoga and ballet barre, and blogs about fitness, I had never EVER heard of foam rolling until recently.  I googled it, and apparently foam rolling is a THING.  And lots of people do this THING.

In case you have been living under the same rock, here’s the deal:  a foam roller looks like this.

According to breakingmuscle.com, “myofascial release, also known as “foam rolling,” has transformed from a once mysterious technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists to a familiar everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness. Recent information, technology, and affordable products have introduced an increasing array of training and recovery methods to the average person.  Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.”

So, basically, foam rolling is a way to massage your muscles to reduce knotting, tight spots, and soreness.  You know how when you have a stiff neck, you can use your finger to push really hard on the knot for a while, and then when you remove your finger the knot is gone?  Same idea.

However, the foam roller finds knots I didn’t even know I had.  I roll my thighs at five different angles, and the roller finds tightness in all kinds of places.  I have been using the foam roller on my upper back (please do not EVER roll your lower back) and I can feel there is much less tension in my shoulders and neck as a result.  I also can tell that the roller releases a ton of tension in my glutes.  It is seriously painful while I am rolling, but I feel amazing afterward.

Are you ready to give foam rolling a try?  I like the examples given by 12 Minute Athlete to begin.  Are there other muscles that I can roll, now that I’ve mastered these basic moves?