How to Use a Foam Roller Properly According to Experts

In the fitness world, a foam roller is a popular assistive tool to use during the stretching portion of a workout, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), it can help improve muscle length and joint motion. And the benefits aren’t limited to workouts: You can also use a foam roller to relieve muscle tension and pain after hours of sitting or work stress.

Foam rolling is a type of treatment that helps in faster recovery from muscle pain and stiffness. They’re a popular tool for self-myofascial release, which is a deep-tissue massage that can help break up myofascial adhesions, or trigger points, says John Gallucci Jr., a physical therapist and CEO of JAG-One Physical Therapy. . He says this technique is essentially a cost-effective way to give yourself a deep tissue massage before or after a workout.

But how do foam rollers actually work and which one should you buy? We consulted personal trainers, physical therapists, and chiropractors to discuss how to safely use and purchase a foam roller and highlight their recommendations for some of the best foam rollers to buy now.

Go ahead best foam rollers , How to Shop for a Foam Roller

Best Foam Rollers in 2024

To help you determine the best foam roller for your needs, we talked to our experts about the different sizes, density levels, and textures of foam rollers, who should use them, and how to shop for them. We also highlight their recommendations for buying the best foam rollers based on different use cases and experience levels.

lululemon double roller

The Lululemon Double Roller is our Wellness Award winner for best foam roller, thanks to its versatility Within the larger foam roller is an inner roller with a deep ridge design, which our editors love. According to the brand, the outer roller is best for use on arms and legs, while the inner roller is ideal for back strain. NBC Select Update editor Millie Godio says the ridges help relieve stress in her legs, back and shoulders. She adds, It’s very light, so I can take it on the go whenever I need it.

luxfit foam roller

Conrad recommends the Luxfit Foam Roller because of its durability. Many foam rollers wear out after a few uses, but the LuxFit is more durable for repeated use, he says, adding that its density is good for larger muscle groups like the hamstrings and quadricep muscles. According to the brand, its smooth surface also keeps liquids away for peace of mind while working out. It is available for purchase in four lengths: 12 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches, and 36 inches.

Triggerpoint Grid Foam Roller

According to Conrad, the TriggerPoint GRID Roller is a good option for athletes. The brand says it has a hollow center that makes it flexible enough to move with your body and a strong, contoured design that can withstand up to 500 pounds of pressure. Due to the strength and bumps of the roller, Conrad does not recommend it for beginners. This model comes in multiple sizes and different colors like pink, mint, and orange.

Tiger Tail 18in Massage Stick Portable Roller

This option from Tiger Tail has non-slip grip handles on both sides that can help you guide the roller exactly where you are aiming and allow [it] Glide back and forth over the muscles with good stability and pressure, says Conrad. He adds, due to its firm feel, this roller can be an effective option for relaxing tight thighs, hamstrings and quadriceps, as well as pinpointing stubborn sore muscle areas and relieving chronic muscle stiffness . The Tiger Tail Massage Stick comes in three sizes: 11 inches, 18 inches, and 22 inches.

PB Elite 6″ Soft Round Molded Foam Roller

According to Christina Jennings, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and performance coach with fitness training app Masters, this roller is longer, flatter and less dense than some other types of rollers, making it a great option if you’re new to foam rolling. . She also says that the softer texture may be good for those hoping to put less pressure on the affected areas. You can buy this roller in 18-inch or 36-inch sizes.

Rolga ISO Roller

If you want to put more pressure on a muscle, using a roller with ridges and grooves can provide more intensity, says Jennings. According to the brand, she recommends this one from Rolga, which has multiple grooves designed to provide a contoured fit to the body and make it easier to target trigger points. According to the brand, it’s also made from professional-grade EPP foam, which can hold more than 2,000 pounds of weight.

Rumble Roller 31″X6″ Foam Roller

According to the brand, the Rumble Roller, which Jennings also recommends, is a sturdy textured roller with flexible protuberances that continuously massages the affected areas of your body. The bumps are less than two inches apart, so multiple bumps can make contact with your body at once and provide massaging pressure. The brand also claims that the non-porous surface is latex-free, water-resistant and repels dirt.

Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller

According to Jennings, if you’re looking for a more affordable foam roller, this roller from Amazon Basics has a flat surface that can provide light pressure, making it a good place to start for those new to foam rolling. It becomes. It comes in sizes ranging from 18 inches to 36 inches, says Conrad, adding that with the longer length, you can work larger areas of the body, like the hamstrings and the backs of both your legs.

How to Shop for a Foam Roller

Foam rollers come in different sizes and densities, so choosing the one that’s right for you can be key to safe and effective sessions.

  • size: When shopping for a foam roller, make sure you’re choosing the right size and shape for the body part you’re targeting. According to Gallucci, a longer roller can be used for many different parts of the body, like your back and legs, while a shorter roller should be used when targeting smaller areas, like the calves or arms.
  • density: If you’re just starting out, experts recommend choosing a softer roller, which uses less pressure and gives your muscles a chance to adapt. Gradually, you can progress to a denser roller. The easiest way to test the density is to squeeze the roller, although sometimes the rollers are color coded, with lighter colors being the softest and darker colors the hardest, says Gallucci.
  • Texture: Gallucci says a beginner will benefit from a smooth roller with no texture to provide even pressure over the entire length of the roller. He adds, textured rollers that usually have ridges and knobs can provide a more targeted massage to break up adhesions in the muscles and are better for more experienced rollers.

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are given independently and without unknown financial conflicts of interest.

  • John Gallucci Jr. is a physical therapist and CEO of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy.
  • alan conrad Is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center.
  • Christina Jennings Fitness Training App is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and performance coach with Masters

Why Trust NBC Select?

Millie Godio is an updates editor at NBC Select who has written a variety of articles in skin care, wellness, home and kitchen and other areas. Ashley Morris is an associate SEO reporter at NBC Select covering skin care, wellness, gardening and more. For this article, they talked to three fitness experts about what to look for when shopping for the best foam rollers, including recommendations on their favorite products.

Check out Select’s in-depth coverage personal Finance, Techniques and Tools, welfare And much more, and follow us Facebook, Instagram, Twitter And TIC Toc To stay updated.


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