Foam rollers are one of those pieces of equipment where if you do it right, they can provide you with a deep-tissue massage. They’re commonly cylinder-shaped and they push up against sore muscles while you lay on the floor.
Because foam rollers are such handy tools, there is a wide selection of foam rollers you can choose from. Depending on what kind of exercises you do, a foam roller can aid in relaxing different muscles in your body. Below, I picked out the best foam rollers available on the market depending on the types of exercises and needs that you have.
How I Picked the Best Foam Rollers
Before jumping into the list, here are the criteria that I used when putting together this list of best foam rollers.
Weight – Foam rollers, as their name suggests, are designed to be light enough for you to roll around without exerting effort.
Compact – Because you’re laying on the ground, you want to have plenty of space. As such, a roller should allow you to lay down and easily perform the exercises you need without too much issue.
High-density – The material should also be dense enough so that you won’t accidentally crush the roller under your own weight. The rollers on this list are very durable.
1. Best Overall: LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller
From dealing with sports injuries to relieving tension points in your body post-workout, this premium high-density foam roller is the best. This foam roller is entirely made from molded polypropylene foam, which means that it has a high density and won’t be losing its shape for a very long time, even if you use it daily.
Beyond that, it can also repel liquid so it won’t get soggy or wet if you’re particularly sweaty or you’re using the roller near water.
It comes in three different sizes and can be used to assist your core, cover spinal stabilization, balance, re-educating your muscles, and boost stamina.
2. Best Grid: TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
If you’re new to foam rollers, this one might be the best choice for you. The reason for that is that each purchase of these TriggerPoint GRID foam rollers comes with a free online instructional video. This video shows you the best practices and how to use a foam roller properly.
As for the roller itself, the big benefit here is the overall design. It has a rigid hollow core, and the materials used to make this roller are rigid so it won’t be breaking down easily.
Another aspect to it is its multi-dimensional surface, making it a go-to roller for masseuses to athletes. These rollers can also assist in oxygen flow and heal tissues.
3. Best for Physical Therapy: Rolling With It Therapeutic Grade Premium EVA Foam Roller
Even though this roller is fantastic for physical therapy, it can also be helpful for general use, particularly before you go to work out. By rolling in advance, you’re allowing your muscles to get warmed up for the exercises that you’re doing.
This is big because when muscles are more relaxed, you’ll be able to extend the period of your workout. You’ll want to care about this if you normally do high-impact routines such as Crossfit, bodybuilding, or general weight training.
Using this regularly is smart and unlike LuxFit’s roller, this one is eco-friendly and resists flaking and chipping.
4. Best Half Roller: OPTP PRO-ROLLER Soft Density Foam Roller
While rollers are nice, they do have a tendency to slip and slide around. If you prefer to stay still and relax your muscles, OPTP’s half-roller will be a good fit. It’s highly durable with its cross-linked, closed-cell foam. Because of that, it has a perfect balance between softness and firmness.
Beyond that, because it’s a half roller, you have the option between a flat surface or a rounded surface for versatility. If you’re looking for a softer roller, this one is a good option.
5. Best Stick: Tiger Tail Massage Stick
While your standard rollers are great for back rolling, they’re only able to cover large areas of muscles. This becomes an issue if you’re looking to relieve tension to smaller muscles or in specific areas.
This is where massage sticks are able to shine as they pinpoint specific areas in your body. Out of the various massage sticks we’ve checked, the one from Tiger Tail is ideal. It has three size options to pick from (11-inch, 18-inch, and 22-inch) letting you have good flexibility in what you’re looking for.
The Tiger Tail is made from a high-quality, non-absorbent, and non-deteriorating closed-cell foam. This ensures that it won’t hurt your skin when using it, making cleaning easier, too. It’s also ergonomically designed so that your hands won’t tire out when using it.
6. Best for Cyclists: Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls for Myofascial Release
While it’s no foam roller, lacrosse balls are excellent ways to relieve tension in areas where foam rollers are awkward to reach, such as shoulders, glutes, and neck. All in all, they’re a great addition to your muscle relaxation routine.
Every purchase of these lacrosse balls provides you with two balls to use. Through these durable balls, you’ll be able to reach smaller muscle groups easier than you could with any typical foam roller.
7. Best for Shoulders: RumbleRoller Beastie Bar and Stands
Lastly, if you’re looking for a great way to relax your shoulders, this product from RumbleRoller is ideal. The thing with foam rollers is that reaching your shoulders with these rollers can be awkward. Paired up with shoulders tend to carry a lot of stress, we’re more likely to experience muscle pain in that area.
Instead of pulling out your roller, this option could be significantly better. This wand features two “Beasties,” which are spiky foam massage balls. Similar to Lacrosse balls, these are able to target small pressure points on your body—in this case, your shoulders and neck.
It comes with stands that are detachable so you can use just the ball to relieve various points over your body too if need be. Each of the balls is durable and firm so you shouldn’t have issues in relieving muscle pain.
You don’t need to be constantly seeing a masseuse whenever you experience muscle pain. In many cases, it’s simply that you put your body through a bit too much stress. Whether it’s from your posture or from working out, foam rollers and other physical therapy tools can help you in dealing with those aches and pains. Just try out a few products from this list of the best foam rollers out there, and choose one that best fits your needs.
Featured photo credit: Ambitious Creative Co. – Rick Barrett via unsplash.com