Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that is used to relax overactive muscles. Rolling has quickly become an essential tool in maintaining mobility in all levels of exercisers. This technique can be effective for many muscles. It is accomplished by applying pressure to the affected muscle group by moving the foam roller under your own body weight. They are extremely simple to use and are very effective.
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right foam roller for you:
FREQUENCY: How often will you be using the roller? The more frequent the use, the denser the roller should be, as it will be more effective for a longer period of time. Choose a less dense foam roller (i.e. solid foam) for infrequent use or for a beginner… choose a PVC core for more intensity and longevity.
INTENSITY: The intensity of foam rolling is typically likened to the intensity of an aggressive deep tissue massage. Beginners may want to start with a softer roller and graduate to a more aggressive roller as you become accustomed to rolling. Firmness and texture of the roller will determine the aggressiveness of the massage.
FEATURES: Different brands have different features and benefits. There are a number of different sizes, lengths and textures, each having pros and cons. Consider a compact roller if you will be travelling to and from the gym or on road trips. Consider a longer roller if you are going to be keeping it at one location. Different lengths can be geared towards specific movements. Textured rollers tend to be more aggressive for deeper muscle tissue. Different shapes and grooves will have different densities and allow for blood flow and varying intensity. Hollow rollers also allow for storage of gym clothes, towels etc. when you are transporting it to and from the gym.
BUDGET: Foam rolling is a very cost effective form of therapy. Determine your budget, but have an open mind. The one that works best for you may be MORE or LESS than what you had planned. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. More effective rollers that will last a long time tend to cost more initially, but will pay off in the long run.
VISIT FITNESS EXPERIENCE: If you are not sure, speak to one of our experts and they will help you determine which roller will best serve your needs. While in the store, try a couple of styles. For our locations and hours of operation, click here.
Massage rollers help to maintain/increase mobility, speed up recovery times between workouts, and aid in recovery from injuries. They are a great tool to keep you healthy and functioning 100%... use them often!