The 5 Best Foam Rollers to Buy in 2019
#2 Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick
The Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick is the perfect stick massager for all of your targeted muscle massages.
- Portable, can fit in your gym bag
- Perfect for use on difficult to reach muscles, like the shoulders
- Comfortable handle that is easy to use
#3 HyperIce Viper 2.0 Vibrating Fitness Roller
For the best deep tissue massage plus added comfort and an extra impact on your muscles choose the HyperIce Viper 2.0 Vibrating Fitness Roller.
- Four different vibration settings
- Durable build with a high weight limit
- Perfect for deep tissue therapy
Have you ever been to physical therapy or have had a personal trainer? If so, then the chances are you’ve used a foam roller before. Foam rollers are common among healthcare professionals and trainers because of their numerous benefits when it comes to your muscles.
You don’t need a doctor or a PT to use them, once you learn about them, foam rollers are essential for literally recommended for anyone who works out regularly. The best foam rollers help loosen up sore muscles and tissue so you can increase the blood flow and recover quickly. They are also a great option for working out by strengthening the muscles, increasing mobility and flexibility.
Foam rollers are popular because they are an effective and affordable way to do that all from the comfort of your own home. Choosing the best foam roller for you depends on the muscles you want to target and the experience you have with massages. The great thing is that they come in various firmness, density and sizes so you can customize it to your needs.
Editor’s Choice: OPTP Silver AXIS Moderate Foam Roller
The OPTP foam roller offers the best benefits when it comes to massaging your muscles and creating the myofascial release that everyone looks for. The density is moderate which makes it perfect for a deep massage but soft enough to use for various exercises that help increase balance and stability.
This foam roller is our favorite because of its durability and is perfect for both beginners and experienced athletes alike.
OPTP Moderate Foam Roller Pros
- Eco-friendly construction
- Available in multiple sizes and shapes
- Moderate density is great for all levels of types
OPTP Moderate Foam Roller Cons
- May not suitable for clinical or professional use
Best Value: Gaiam Restore Total Body Foam Roller
Gaiam, a leader in the yoga and restorative exercise world, provides a high-quality foam roller that comes with a nice price tag. The length is perfect for a full body massage or workout, and the firmness is great for people of all experience levels. The Gaiam restore foam roller provides trigger point relief while it loosens up your tight muscles and joints.
Gaiam Total Body Roller Pros
- Long enough for a full spine workout
- Comes with a DVD with exercise ideas
- Semi-firm muscle stimulation
Gaiam Total Body Roller Cons
- Long time use may lead to deterioration
Best Grid-Textured: Trigger Point Grid Roller
Experienced foam roller users will be looking for a little more bang for their buck when it comes to foam rollers. A nice, grid texture provides deep tissue muscle massages that will relief your knots or tough trigger points.
The grid texture has a firm EVA texture and a hollow center, which provides various forms of pressure to your muscles. Use this for great, targeted muscle therapy.
Trigger Point Grid Roller Pros
- Durable and holds its shape
- High weight limit
Trigger Point Grid Roller Cons
- Shorter length limits the amount of exercise you can do
Best Vibrating Foam Roller: HyperIce Viper Vibrating Roller
If you’re looking for a little more than just a simple workout and massage and want to go the extra mile, the Hyperice Vibrating Roller is a top choice. The Hyperice vibrating roller is made of a durable material with a ridged texture to hit soft and deep tissue. You can be sure that you’ll get a full deep tissue massage with minimal pain when using the Hyperice.
Among the professional world, the Hyperice does well. It is recommended by several professional athletes and personal trainers and Amazon users have given it a good rating as well.
HyperIce Vibrating Pros
- Deep tissue massage
- Four different vibration settings
- High weight limit
HyperIce Vibrating Cons
- Priciest type of foam roller
- Short size
- Some users claim that after a few uses the battery doesn’t last as long
Best Stick Foam Roller: Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick
For a compact, portable and effective foam roller, choose the Original Tiger Tail Massage stick. This stick massager fits perfectly in your gym bag and can provide instant relief because of its compact density and diameter.
The Original Tiger is also made of foam so its softer than most other stick massagers on the market. It’s also easy to use because the handles are separate from the foam roller portion, so you’re able to hold the stick and roll it over your muscles with ease. The stick is perfect to use right after a cardio workout or to loosen up tight muscles in the shoulders or back.
Original Tiger Tail Stick Pros
- Compact size makes it easy to travel with
- Great to use for muscles that are harder to get to
- Comes with a three-year warranty
Original Tiger Tail Stick Cons
- Because your hands control it and not your body, it doesn’t apply as much pressure.
Types of Foam Rollers
Foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes and each type can be used to target a specific part of the body or for a particular effect. Consult with this breakdown and even your health professional to see which foam roller is best for you.
Grid textured foam rollers are perfect for those with plenty of experience foam rolling and are looking to get out those tough knots. The surface is ridged with various indentations throughout to mimic the hand movements of a massage therapist. A workout with a grid textured roller will get your blood pumping and will definitely take care of some of the trigger points and tough spots in your body.
- Pros – The 3D texture allows for your muscles to breathe which increases blood and oxygen flow through the muscles.
- Cons- Grid textured foam rollers tend to be a bit firmer than traditional rollers, which could be uncomfortable for some.
Best for increased mobility, recovery and experience foam rollers.
A vibrating firm roller takes your foam roller therapy to the next level but eliminating most of the pain that comes with a deep tissue massage. The device is vibrating while you roll, which gives you all of the benefits of a roller plus muscles that are relaxed. The biggest downside to using a foam roller is the fact that they are the priciest of the bunch but if you’re dedicated to muscle therapy, then it is worth it.
- Pros- The vibrating foam roller relaxes muscles while targeting tight areas in the body.
- Cons- Compared to the other types of foam rollers, this is the priciest.
Best for relaxing massage therapy.
Stick rollers are firmer, stick-like muscle rollers that target your trigger points by flattening out your fascia. With proper use, they are perfect for getting your body to stretch and your muscles to reach a new level of flexibility. Stick foam rollers are some of the denser, firmer types of muscle rollers so they are good for targeting some of the muscles that are harder to get to. The difference between a stick roller and other foam rollers is that you use the weight of your hands to apply pressure, while a foam roller is using the weight of your body.
- Pros- The stick rollers are usually extremely portable because of their small size.
- Cons- Professionals say not to use the foam roller and stick roller interchangeably, as they can counteract the effects.
Best for flexibility.
Imagine a normal foam roller, but chopped in half with the flat part facing down. That’s exactly what a half foam roller is. Half foam rollers are great for people looking to gain flexibility in their bodies. They are also great for training their bodies to balance and gaining strength in a few muscles. You can use a half roller to implement certain exercises into your regimen if you need to, the roller can be used on both sides.
- Pros – Provides more balance for people who are new to using foam rollers and can be used in various types of exercises
- Cons- You don’t get the full range of massage when using a half foam roller, it may be a bit hard to use for massages.
Best for muscle re-education and balance training.
Foam Rollers Buyer’s Guide
To reap all of the great benefits of using a foam roller, you need to know which one would work best for your body. Additionally, it’s important to know what all of the various shapes and sizes are and what they would mean for your body. From there you can be paired with the perfect foam roller and because doing your body right.
- Smaller size- Standard size of a foam roller is about 6 inches in diameter but if you are going for one that will target certain muscles in the body, you may need to go with a smaller one. A small size usually ranges from 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
- Normal size- The standard size of a foam roller is 6 inches in diameter. The length depends on what part of the body you plan to use it for. If you’re looking to target your back then choose a longer foam roller, about 36 inches, so that it is long enough. For travel, get a foam roller that is about the size of a ruler. Finally, for targeted work on the arms and legs, choose a foam roller that is about 24 inches.
Foam rollers are designed to be lightweight because of the foam material. The weight greatly depends on the density and length of the roller. Some types of rollers, like the vibrating rollers or the firmer, grid-textured rollers will be much heavier.
The density of a foam roller is extremely important to know before buying a foam roller. They come in at least three different densities so you can choose which one would work best for you.
- Soft Density- The softer density foam rollers are great for people who are new to using foam rollers and want a gentler experience. The feeling is a bit softer and cushiony to the touch and provides a more therapeutic comforting feeling. It’s best to go with these types of foam rollers if you are looking for a comfortable roller that will keep its shape after heavy use.
- Standard Density- The standard density is a medium density that is firm but not too firm to break into. This could also work for users who are new to using foam rollers. The standard density is also ideal for exercise and massages, so they are the most versatile selection of the bunch.
- Firm Density- For those looking for a more deep tissue workout or to target their tough trigger points, a firmer density is ideal. This is also great for longtime users who want to upgrade their workouts from the standard to a firmer foam roller. Firm rollers are for athletes who are looking to massage their muscles after intense training and will help prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Choosing the right texture will determine what type of massage and stretch you get with your foam rollers. There are several types of textures to choose from but the main ones are smooth all around and a grid-like or ridge texture.
- Grid and ridged textures- Choose this type of foam roller if you are used to deep tissue massages and firmness on your muscles. If not, this type of foam roller may be painful. Because of the ridges and uneven surface, these types of rollers are perfect for loosening tight knots in places like the shoulders and back.
- Standard texture- The standard foam roller has a smoother texture that is usually made of a foamy, polyethylene material. You should choose a smooth texture if you’re looking to get the most out of your foam roller. They are great for both massages and exercises that’ll strengthen the muscles and increase mobility. You generally don’t have to worry about pain, depending on the firmness, because of the texture, making this texture useful for both beginners and experienced users.
A good quality foam roller should last you years. The exact length of time, however, depends on how much you use it, and the type of foam roller you buy. If you buy a standard quality foam roller and use it every day then you’re looking at less time. Eventually, the foam could start to weaken and when this happens, it’s a good idea to get a new one. On the other hand, your firmer, or even unique textured foam rollers will last longer simply because of their material and how they are made.
Ease of Use
If you don’t have a personal trainer or a physical therapist to help you, foam rollers can seem a bit intimidating. There are tons of exercises and techniques to use to get the best benefits out of your foam roller. For new beginners its best to stick with the standard size and texture so that you can begin using them. The harder ones to use properly would be a grid textured foam roller or even a stick roller.
Benefits of Using Foam Rollers
Now we get on to the good stuff, just why should you buy a foam roller? What are they good for? There are quite a few answers to that question actually, and it begins with figuring out what your target is. Foam rollers are generally used for exercise, self-massage, and stretching. Healthcare professionals and personal trainers claim that proper use can lead to longterm benefits for your whole body, and the best part is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Self Myofascial Release
Myofascial release is a fancy word thrown around on a lot of fitness blogs when it comes to foam rollers. That’s because creating a myofascial release is one of the most beneficial uses of a foam roller. Myofascial release is a scientific way to describe what happens when you apply pressure to the tissue around the muscles which increases blood flow to the area. So, essentially it’s giving yourself a massage.
Decreases your Risk of Injury
Massaging your muscles after intense workouts are important because it increases blood flow which aids in regeneration. When you have more blood flow, this increases the range of motion and will decrease the risk of injury over time. This benefit is especially important for people who are athletes and regularly put a lot of strain on their muscles. This means the chances of you injuring yourself decrease when you use them as a form of muscle recovery.
Speeds up Recovery Time
Similarly, if you do have an injury, using a foam roller can help to speed up the time it takes to recover your muscles. This is why it’s a common part of physical therapy because it helps to draw fresh blood to the injured area, which helps the muscle and tissue to regenerate. This also applies to recovery time when it comes to recovery in between workouts.Read More