Experimenting with different foam rolling techniques has become a staple in fitness gurus’ workout routines. First you kick butt during a HIIT class or lifting session. Then you foam roll. But what’s so great about this post-exercise gear?
Foam rollers massage muscles via the stiff foam providing pressure to tight muscles. “Massaging muscles can help to release tightened muscle fibers and reduce trigger points,” Dr. Lisa Folden, PT, DPT tells Lively. A foam rolling routine may help decrease post-workout discomfort but should not replace static stretching. Dr. Folden says foam rolling should be more of an add-on to a deep stretch rather than a replacement.
Interested in finding your perfect fit but don’t know how to get started? See what these 4 fitness trainers had to say about their favorite foam rollers.
“My favorite foam roller is the GRID Foam Roller from TriggerPoint. This roller can be used all over your body and makes you feel like you are giving your body a massage pre- and post-run. For runners, foam rolling should be part of your warm-up and this roller has the firmness to wake my muscles up first thing in the morning and get the blood flowing before I head out the door to run. Afterwards, it provides the compression needed to help recovery, so that I can get up and do it all again tomorrow. I also love the mini version, which is the ideal travel buddy. I love to run on vacation but after a long flight the body is not always happy. The mini fits easily in my suitcase and I can roll out when I arrive at my destination.”
“I love the HyperIce 2.0 Vibrating Fitness! The vibration helps to calm surrounding nerves while rolling out. It's especially helpful for those who experience nerve discomfort after exercising.”
“The Ab Round Foam Roller is a high-density foam roller that is typically used in response to muscle tightness. You need a foam roller that will penetrate to the core of the muscle tissue; a soft roller just won’t get the job done. This roller is fashioned from high-density expanded polypropylene, so it retains its shape regardless of what you put it through.”
“I'm obsessed with foam rolling because of its benefits with recovery and getting my body in its best healthy alignment. My favorite foam roller is the Rumble Roller. I love it because the spikes really help to get deep into the muscle fascia and relieve tension. The common black foam rollers that we all know about aren't as effective for me because they help on a more superficial level, but the Rumble Roller can really help in getting into your tissues like a massage therapist can. They sell a half or full version depending upon how much space you have, and in my NYC apartment, the half version is enough for me!”