Foam Roller Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Foam Roller

Foam rollers are primarily used to apply direct pressure to tense, stiff muscles. The tension release rollers offer is similar to that from a massage. Some rollers, such as ab rollers, are used for exercising and building muscles, while other types of foam rollers are used for rebuilding and rehabilitating the body.
>> How will you use the foam roller?

Foam rollers are used for two specific purposes: to relieve pain and to strengthen muscles. To locate the best foam roller to buy, determine what you will be using the roller for.

If you exercise regularly and suffer from knotted muscles, you can benefit from a foam roller. One of the major foam roller benefits is that sore tissues are massaged. This type of massage is similar to what you receive from a massage therapist, but at a fraction of the cost. Foam rollers are easy to use, and you can enjoy them almost anywhere you have a flat, open space to work. Rollers can be used in the bedroom, living room or gym.

Foam rollers are also used during training to provide stability for exercises that help strengthen the core of your body, as well as your legs and arms. You can use foam rollers for balance and resistance to help build up different muscle groups. Foam rollers can also be used during rehab to help with recovery. When considering which foam roller to buy, think about which muscle groups you'd like to work, and choose a roller that can address those concerns.

>> Consider the surface

When you start the task of deciding which foam roller to buy, you will notice that there are a few different surfaces to choose from. As with any exercise and fitness equipment, you should do a little research to determine which roller is right for you.

Rollers with smooth surfaces are the most common kind of roller. Smooth foam rollers are primarily used for stretching and massaging muscles, exercising and strength training. Choose these types of rollers if you are just starting out with rollers or if you don't want to apply too much pressure to your muscles.

Textured rollers offer additional foam roller benefits, such as a deeper massage and better blood circulation. Built with firm, protruding bumps and ridges or flexible spikes, these types of rollers are ideal if you are looking for deep tissue massage to stimulate hard-to-reach areas, help improve circulation in the legs and arms or stretch stiff muscles. When deciding which foam roller to buy, keep in mind that rollers with larger, firmer protrusions provide the deepest tissue massage, while smaller, softer bumps offer a less intense experience.

>> Consider the firmness

The firmness of a foam roller is usually indicated by its color. White foam rollers typically have the lowest density and are the thinnest foam rollers on the market. Blue, green and purple rollers tend to be medium-density rollers, and black foam rollers are the thickest, firmest pieces available. If you're new to working with foam rollers, consider starting out with a low-density white roller. These types of rollers are the easiest to practice with, and they are less likely to cause pain during use.

If you've worked out with rollers before and are wondering which foam roller to buy now, you may be ready to move up to a higher-density piece. Black rollers are made of very firm material, which provides the deepest, most penetrating massage. Shop for these kinds of dense rollers if you suffer from knots deep inside your muscles.

>> Consider the duration of use

When considering which foam roller to buy, keep in mind your needs. Contemplating how often you plan to use your roller will help you decide whether you should invest in a large or small foam roller or if you should purchase a foam roller set.

Before choosing exercise and fitness accessories, think about how often you will use a particular piece. For example, if you plan to use a roller only for a brief stint during rehabilitation therapy, a smaller, low-density roller may be all that you need. However, if you intend to use foam rollers for a long period of time, invest in foam roller brands that offer good quality. Foam rollers that are well made will provide the best support and last a long time.

>> Consider the width and diameter

Another aspect to consider when deciding which foam roller to buy is width and diameter. When it comes to foam roller dimensions, most rollers have the same diameter, which is about six inches. Although the diameter is standard across most sizes, foam roller sizes differ when it comes to length.

The shortest foam rollers measure 12 inches, while the longest measure 36 inches. How you plan to use the roller will help you determine how to buy a foam roller that will best suit your needs. If you're a new user, opt for a shorter roller. Short foam roller fitness kits and accessories are easily controlled and ideal for use with the legs, arms and lower back.

After you've learned how to use a small foam roller, you can work your way up to a longer piece. Longer foam rollers allow you to massage larger areas of the body, such as both legs at the same time or your entire back. If you purchase a roller with ridges, you can enjoy deep tissue massages. There are many different types of foam rollers, and each has advantages and specific uses.
Foam rollers and other sports and outdoors supplies can help you keep your body in tip-top shape. Use these fitness tools before running or using exercise machines to stretch your muscles, relieve pain and prevent injury.

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