Identify Your Priority! What Kind of Problem Do You Want A Foam Roller to Solve?
No matter if you buy the best-rated foam roller on the market or the best budget foam roller 2020, it’s important to know if it will be the best one for you! This guide ends with a question and answers section.
Do You Need a Foam Roller For Tissue Massage or General Pain Management?
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about foam rollers. I’m pretty sure that this was also in the head of the first designers of this great tool. A foam roller proves to be a great thing not only for muscles but for all kinds of connective tissues as well.
Tendons, ligaments and joint capsules will have much better functional properties if you treat them with a foam roller. A great thing about modern foam rollers is that there are various kinds of them. You can find smooth foam rollers, but also extremely textured foam rollers, which are designed to hit some very specific group of tissues.
A foam roller is a perfect tool for relaxation after a hard day. Treat your legs after standing whole day on your feet, or treat your neck if you work in the office. In every case, a foam roller is highly recommended.
Do You Need a Foam Roller for Injury Rehabilitation?
In the past when foam rollers weren’t a common thing in gyms and our homes, doctor’s office was the usual place of everyone’s very first meeting with foam rollers. After having a bad injury, a therapist would introduce the foam roller. A few decades later, after numerous technological achievements, foam rollers are still an integral part of almost every physical therapy.
So, if you want to purchase a foam roller for injury rehabilitation, go for it. However, it is important to consult your doctor or therapist first. Then you will know if a foam roller is for you. Moreover, he/she will help you to choose the perfect size, texture, density etc.
Do You Need To Bring a Foam Roller to the Gym or Other Physical Activity?
Today, gyms are some kind of a natural habitat for foam rollers. You can find foam rollers in every better-equipped gym.
The reason is simple.
Foam rollers are excellent to use both before and after the practice and should definitely become a part of your routine. Using a foam roller before starting a practice has many benefits. It is a great warm-up thing. Moreover, it is an amazing thing to prepare your muscles for an intense workout.
A foam roller will spark your blood flow, and also help stretch out your muscles. After an exercise, a deep tissue massage will provide a fast muscle recovery. Additionally, this is a great tool for using it during the exercise, for things like core and balance exercises. You could absolutely find the best foam roller for exercise in this foam roller review, as exemplified below.
You can find numerous foam rollers designed especially for gym warm-ups, balance and core exercises on the market these days. Even a highly-renowned sportswear brand like Nike has some great foam rollers to offer.
Do You Want It for travel?
If you are a person who travels a lot, don’t worry. Foam rollers come in various sizes, so you won’t have big trouble finding a perfect foam roller for you. Basically, there are two common types of foam rollers when it comes to size.
The best solution for the people in a constant move is choosing a so-called half-size foam roller, which usually measures around 12-13 inches in length. It is, without a doubt, a size that can fit your bag.
On the other side, full-size rollers usually go between 24 and 30 inches. A good solution could be some medium-size roller, which compromises between size and functionality. A TeamSoda 18-Inch Foam Roller is one of these and it even comes with its own bag.But the highest rated foam rollers on the market tend to be full-sized.
Do You Need a Foam Roller to Treat Lower Back Pain?
Although many people treat lower back with foam rollers, we won’t recommend it. Experts agree that you should use it only for the upper back, above the rib cage.
The reason is simple. While shoulder blades and huge muscle group on the upper back will keep your spine safe, lower back is pretty open and your muscles will contract pretty hard, which can only cause even more damage.
For the lower back pain management, you should roll the gluteus, as well as hip flexors and rectus femoris.
Research the Foam Rollers Different Functions
The Density of a Foam Roller
Probably the first thing you should consider when choosing a foam roller should be finding a foam roller with the best density for you. The reason is simple. Depending on density, the pressure on your muscle and connective tissues will be higher or lower.
Less pressure means less pain. So, if you are a complete beginner, choose soft rollers.
There are several levels of foam roller density. The easiest way to recognize them is by the color. As the color is lighter, the overall firmness is lower. So, beginners should start with the white color.
Slightly firmer, yellow foam rollers are excellent for core stabilization. If you are more experienced, go for some darker colors. You will get high-quality EVA foam that will give you a pretty high pressure, but also warm-to-touch surface.
Consideration of foam roller measurements is crucial when you are choosing the best fit for a foam roller. We have already mentioned that there are rollers with various lengths. Common foam rollers usually go between 24 and 30 inches, but you can find extra long foam rollers.
On the other side, there are half-sized foam rollers, which are usually around 12-13 inches. A compact size is great if you travel a lot or just need a roller that can fit your gym bag. Still, they can’t be used for large muscle groups like the upper back.
Fortunately, there are also 18-inch foam rollers that balance between compactness and functionality. Still, these foam rollers are a kind of a mixed bag. This compromise actually means neither compact dimension nor high functionality.
A great solution could be this ProSource 2-in-1 Spike Massage Roller. It is a 24 inches long foam roller but can twist apart, so you get two 12-inch rollers.
Speaking of size, another very important thing is the diameter of a foam roller. Foam rollers usually have a 5- or 6-inch diameter. Still, you can go for a thinner foam roller, with 4- or even 3-inch diameter. It is a great thing if you want more pressure or target some specific part of the body. The RumbleRoller Gator one has a smaller diameter compared to most rollers.
Finding the best Surface Structure of a Foam Roller
In the past, all common foam rollers featured a smooth surface. This design will give you an even pressure across the whole length of the roller. Still, modern foam rollers usually have textured surfaces.
There are different foam rollers on the market, with different texture patterns, even foam rollers with large spikes. The point is to mimic therapist hands or something like this, which results in a more precisely targeted massage that will help you dealing with disturbing muscle knots.
There are also many foam rollers on the market that feature combined textures, which can help you find the perfect amount of pressure from your foam roller much easier. One of these foam rollers is TriggerPoint GRID VIBE Vibrating Foam Roller, which comes with a three-pattern texture design.
Foam rollers with Vibration Function
Some of the foam rollers even feature a vibration function. Although I think this isn’t a very important feature of the foam roller, many people actually find it pretty convenient.
Most of these foam rollers with vibration function are durable foam rollers and can hold more than 90, even 120 minutes on a single charge. Also, count on several levels of vibration intensity.
Research your Options
Considering all above-mentioned features and functions, we could make some general classification which will include three base types of foam rollers:
Smooth-Surface Foam Rollers
The most basic foam rollers are those with smooth surfaces. Considering its design, you will get an even pressure across the whole roller.
These foam rollers come in various levels of density, so it would be very easy to find the best smooth foam roller for you. If you need a foam roller for injury treatment, this will probably be a suggestion from your therapist.
Textured Foam Rollers
Textured rollers are more frequently used nowadays. A wide spectrum of different patterns gives a great opportunity to find the best textured foam roller for you.
For example, there is LoRox Aligned Foam Roller which features a small but grip texture, which is perfect for relaxation. On the other side, if you are for something far more extreme, there is a Fitlyzer Foam Roller, which could be a perfect foam roller for someone more experienced.
Foam Rollers with Vibration
Finally, there are foam rollers with vibration. Compared to previous two types, these are usually more expensive. A vibration function could be a nice addition which could increase the intensity of muscle treatment.
Fortunately, these rollers are usually hi-quality products, so you won’t have problems with batteries. Most of these can hold at least 90 minutes. Also, most of these rollers feature several intensity levels.
Scale your Decision Down to 2 or 3 Products
After finding out the perfect type of foam roller for you, it is time to scale down your decision to two or three options. Still, consider that these are just my suggestions. Research a complete list and also consult customer reviews.
The best Smooth-Surface Foam Rollers
OPTP PRO-ROLLER™ Foam Roller
A high-quality foam roller that offers a medium level of firmness. It would be the best foam roller for pilates and yoga, but also good for rehabilitation and muscle relaxation. It is an extra-long foam roller (36 inches) and features standard 6-inch diameter.
Peace of Muscle 13-Inch 2-in-1 Travel Foam Roller Set
This is actually a set that includes both smooth and textured roller. Speaking of the smooth part of the kit, it comes with an excellent built quality. It is pretty firm, perfect for warm-ups and muscle relaxation.
The Best Textured Foam Rollers
Fitlyzer Foam Roller
With its hard spikes, this roller is a perfect choice for all those who need quick warm-ups or fast recovery. Be careful, this roller is not for beginners – but it is surely the highest rated foam roller with a textured surface. It can also be seen as a budget foam roller.
TriggerPoint GRID VIBE Foam Roller
A hi-quality foam roller that comes with the brand’s familiar texture that combines different patterns. Very pleasant to touch and highly versatile product.
Odoland 5-In-1 18-Inch Foam Roller Kit
A nice foam roller kit that includes not only a well-designed foam roller but few other very useful things. It is a budget foam roller, but highly reliable and one of the best cheap foam rollers with great ratings. Great value for the money.
The Best Foam Rollers with Vibration
Trigger Point Performance TriggerPoint GRID VIBE Vibrating Foam Roller
This is a well-designed vibration foam roller with a texture that combines three different patterns. The only disadvantage could be a single-vibration speed.
NextRoller 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
This foam roller offers a great overall design, plus a highly-durable battery that can hold over two hours. There are three levels of vibration. A very useable foam roller.
Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
This is a top-class product that offers amazing built quality, excellent shell design that combines smooth and textured surfaces, and three vibration speed with pretty durable battery.
Questions and Answers
Can Foam Roller Help Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite?
Latest studies show that foam rollers actually can help with cellulite. When foam rolling, you treat not just muscles, but connective tissues as well. If the fascia is weak, fat protrudes through it, making it highly transparent.
Can a Foam Roller Help Me with Knee Pain?
Not directly but considering that quadriceps are responsible for leg and hip extension, rolling the quad could be pretty helpful.
<53>Can a Foam Roller Make Injury Worse?
Of course, it can. If you want to use a foam roller for injury rehabilitation, the first thing to do is to visit your doctor or therapist. It is always better to treat an injured area with the supervision of some qualified person.
Is Foam Roller Good for Lower Back Pain?
No. This is one of the most common mistakes in rolling. You will just make your muscles contract very hard, which will cause additional pain in other back areas as well.
Is Foam Roller Good for Sciatica Pain?
Yes. This pain is usually caused by the inflamed piriformis muscle. Rolling is great for releasing tension in muscles around the sciatic nerve. Still, consult someone qualified.
Can Foam Roller Be Used During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy usually brings additional weight. Additional weight usually brings more pain in lower back, hips, knees, and feet. Rolling will definitely reduce pain. Still, a belly makes many positions uncomfortable.
Can Foam Roller Break or Bend
Every foam roller has weight limits, so it can. Still, this is very rare, since most of them can hold hundreds of pounds. On the other side, long-term use can cause some distorts of the foam.
What is the best budget foam roller on the market?
Searching for the cheapest foam roller might not be the best idea – but finding one that compromise some extra features in order to be able to add a lower price tag could be the best way for you! There are some high-rated budget foam rollers in this list! Just read about them in this foam roller review and i hope you can find one!
Concluding this Foam Roller Review
Well, I’m completely certain that this is the best foam roller review yet – and no matter if you’re looking for the best foam roller for neck pain or a foam roller for sciatica or if you’re overweight i hope you have found it here!