People say it’s a rent we must pay to live in a fine guise of a human. Literally, to own an ideal shape, you must pay not only some costs but also your attention to step-by-step workout. In addition to strenuous exercise and maintaining a healthy diet, the recovery process after training should also be devoted.
In fact, there are not many people who really take an interest in this. Some people think that post-workout pain is a good sign that the body is doing its job to get rid of fat and growing muscles.
How destructive those common assumptions are!
In the beginning, I didn’t care much about muscle relaxation in general. But while training to higher levels and with heavier weights, problems related to tissue quality are getting more and more severe. They may cause muscle tears, bruises or joint inflammation.
Foam roller is among the most popular forms of self-myofascial release, a method to release tension points. It is considered the cheapest but the most effective one. Rollers assist blood circulation, release stress, and provide nutrition for the neurons that control muscles during exercise.
But How Exactly Do Foam Rollers Work?
Your muscle fibers help your limbs maintain a flat surface, but after exercise there are always symptoms of muscle spasms.
Let’s imagine the contraction appears as stones on the flat road which causes congestion known as poor blood circulation. Foam roller can act as a bulldozer that will help soften and flatten those stones. It will help your road return to traffic jam-free, from which the blood transport path will function normally.
So, Which Is the Best Foam Roller That Suits You Well?
It’s not a no-brainer to choose one, so here are the best foam rollers picked out of the most standouts for your DIY self-massage:
1. U.S. Army Foam Roller
This is by far the best foam roller structured with two layers. The central is a solid cylinder which has a capacity of 500lbs. The outer is built from the highest quality EVA foam – an extremely fine closed-cell substance.
Designed as an official roller model used for U.S Army, this roller has a rugged surface with diagonal spiked treads that are firm enough to deeply penetrate your soft tissue. The U.S. Army textured roller replicates the real therapeutic massage feeling. It pinpoints the right spots on your body and breaks the adhesion.
The U.S. Army Foam Roller measures 13 inches in width, ranked among the average length rollers that work on your large plane such as back and smaller body parts like neck and arms. In fact, its compact shape and size assist to reach smaller muscle groups. With 5.5 inches in diameter, it’s neither too thick nor too thin to provide adequate pressure. The roller is surprisingly light no matter how heavy it looks and very transportable.
This textured foam roller offers the most intense massage with its large spiked treads that are 90% like acupuncture therapy spikes. It proves its effectiveness and comfortableness for beginners and professional athletes.
You can place the roller on the hardwood floor and roll the hip easily back and forth. The ripples are sturdy but do not cave in your skin while rolling. They glide down your hip and give massages to different areas.
The U.S. Army Foam Roller that was reviewed and rated 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon comes at a very reasonable price for 4 colors with all its splendid features.
- Professional in design and performance, provides instant benefits to all body parts and very portable
- Too stiff for people who need a gentler massage method
2. AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller AB36BHPU
This roller is ideal for all ages, from beginner to intermediate level
In additional to responding to all basic needs of a foam roller user, what makes the AmazonBasics Foam Roller AB36BHPU more special is the high-density with molded edges that produce extra comfort but remain its muscle restorative benefits.
This roller is made from polyethylene which is a popular material to produce foam rollers and considered the gold standard for alleviating muscle tension and knots. It is resistant to water and corrosive solvents and meant to maintain firmness after frequent use. Thanks to the material, the cylinder has a sturdy core that can survive against heavy weight and all body types.
Just as its name, the AmazonBasics high-density foam roller has a basic design with black and slightly rough surface texture to keep it from slipping over your clothes or the floor. This foam roller is an exceptionally versatile and supportive tool for self-massage coming in 4 common sizes (12, 18, 24, 36 inch). Those offered sizes suit to any kinds of exercise routines. You will find it applicable from balance and core abdominal work to back stabilization, flexibility, and strength conditioning.
Reviewers love it for its high performance on their backs and shoulders. High density foam roller proves effectiveness in deep tissue massage from which highly active individual can benefit. It will not hurt your budget for frequent replacement because of easy deformity; however, its stiffness can cause bruises.
- Affordable at $20, durable, many options in size and colors
- Too firm for starters
3. NextRoller 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
While everybody is getting used to the traditional foam rollers, vibration is the latest trend of muscle recovery. It is a new concept, so it comes with jury. But the innovation of the NextRoller 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller is the beginning of automation era and has cast all doubts away.
The NextRoller by Nextrino is a modern cutting-edge vibrating foam roller for self-massage and muscle relaxation. Vibration therapy and deep tissue therapy are combined in one cylinder-shaped device. The vibrating foam roller is demonstrated by various studies to increase the ability to withstand pain, faster the recovery time, and extend your range of motion when compared to regular foam rollers.
This new generation foam roller is structured from a dynamic texture that generates a moderate experience while pressing on it. An ergonomic carry handle featured on it makes it more like a portable device that can be used anywhere. The NextRoller measures 6″ in diameter, 13″ in length and 4 pound in weight. One full charge will offer you two hours of continual vibrating massage.
Aired on mainstream media (CBS, NBC, FOX, and more), the NextRoller is trusted by professional athletes to assist them to reach their optimum performance. It ensures to take foam rolling experience to the next level as well as users’ sport careers.
Up to how sore your muscles and joints are, you can choose between low, medium, and high intensities to apply the perfect amount of pressure. The NextRoller functioning as ordinary foam roller with higher productiveness can help relieve muscle pain in every specific body part.
- Auto shut off
- Various levels of vibration from soft to harder so the pulse doesn’t over stimulate your muscles.
- Long-life battery (10-12 hours)
- It’s relatively quiet
- It only charges through a USB port, and it takes a while to fully charge
- No instruction manual attached
- Expensive (about $93)
4. Rollga Foam Roller – RR1LTB
Awarded with Runner’s World magazine editors’ choice 2018, also Amazon’s choice with 4.5 stars out of 5, what made Rollga foam rollers outstanding from others?
Acknowledging that ordinary foam rollers cause discomfort and pain due to the unfitting design, Rollga Foam rollers are enhanced with contours that fit your body and reach trigger points that are difficult, and sometimes unreachable with an ordinary roller.
In fact, the caterpillar-like shape and the benefit from it set Rollga foam rollers apart from the others. The waving zones on the Rollga modify the way you roll by enabling you to completely avoid direct contact with the muscle. Placing the group of muscle inside a contour will eliminate a lot of pain and is safer for the muscle.
Somehow, Rollga foam roller model RR1LTB maintains a smooth surface that is considered the most original design of a ubiquitous roller. It basically helps ease out muscle knots and tightness, then restore the mobility. This miraculous roller also possesses a capacity of holding over 2000lbs. With its curves, Rollga foam rollers perform the best deep tissue massage to help stabilize your hips, align your back, and improve range-of-motion.
The big nobs on the end are great for rolling glutes. It is also comfortable to put at lower back while seated to give a little lower back massage. At 18 inches, Rollga foam roller model RR1LTB can give you a full body massage and the proper control over your position and pressure.
- Contours target specific muscle groups to safely release stress
5. OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller
If you are looking for a solution to effective massage but with a less intense pressure, or an unadventurous starting point, OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Foam Roller will take you back to your comfort zone.
Made of cross-linked, closed cell, long lasting EVA foam, this model introduces you to a definition of medium firmness that is comfortable but stiff enough to perform its effectiveness on your trigger points.
If you are in recovery after an intense workout or severe injury, OPTP foam roller will prove itself as a safe physical therapy.
This roller features a tender, low density compression for a more pleasant experience. It gently helps massage sore muscles to lessen pain and improve movement function and at the same time release tension in tight, constricted fascia.
OPTP PRO-Roller Soft Density Foam Roller comes with variety of size options: 36″ L x 6″ diameter is ideal for rolling out larger muscle groups while 18” L x 6” diameter is great for smaller muscles and easy to travel with. It also offers a two-sided 36” L x 3” half roller which is perfect for stability and balance exercise.
Regardless of its soft, lightweight compound, The OPTP foam roller is built to withstand heavy, repeated use and regarded as one of the most durable, longest lasting rollers on the market by fitness trainers, and other health professionals.
This roller is most commonly found in yoga and pilate classes due to its popularity in size and thickness.
- Light and safe for therapy purpose
- Unable to provide much pressure on joints
Buying Guide for the best foam rollers
What to look for in a foam roller?
The material: From which foam rollers are made should be in the front row. Most foam rollers are made from, yes, foam. But there are apparent differences between standard foam and EVA foam, and stiffer materials such as EPP, which brings out the variety of density.
The texture: Some rollers are smooth on the surface that brings out a satisfying feeling for regular relaxation some have knobs and ridges to intensify the massage.
Dimensions: Rollers have a traditional round cylinder shape and are in various sizes. Thinking about which part of your body that needs massaging is a tip to make choice of the suitable dimension.
My Top Pick
Among all, my top pick is the U.S. Army Foam Roller. Offered in a very affordable price with certified army quality and covering every basic need of a foam roller user from beginner to advanced level, U.S Army Foam Roller guarantees my productivity by sustaining my strength during training. This product whets my appetite by shortening my recovery time and reduces body pain on the next day.
The best part? U.S Army Foam Roller assists me find out the stretched areas by myself, then control the intensity and compression, avoiding excessive pressure that can cause muscle injuries.
Promised with comparable model or full refund should any replacement be wished, U.S Army Foam roller is the real deal for you to make a purchase right away.
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