Have you noticed sluggish post workout recovery as well as aches and muscle discomfort that lingers, then it might be time to buy yourself a new foam roller. More specifically though, it’s probably time to find the best foam roller of 2017.
There are more foam rollers on the market today than there ever has been before so the options can be a bit overwhelming when trying to choose the right one. There are rollers that are made of ultra high density materials that provide an intense massage known as myofascial release. There are others that are softer that provide a more relaxation type of massage. Many rollers even cater to particular requirements, such as targeting specific muscle groups.
Check out our comparison chart and more in depth review of each roller as well below.
Top Foam Roller of 2017 Comparison Chart
|1) Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller||4.9||5.0||$58.64||5.0|
|2) EPE Black High Density Foam Roller||5.0||4.5||$24.95||4.4|
|3) Master of Muscle Roller||4.7||4.8||$39.99||4.3|
|4) OPTP Pro-Roller Soft Pink Marble||4.4||4.7||$40||4.1|
|5) ProSource Ultra Deluxe Roller||4.6||4.8||$28.99||4.1|
What Is A Foam Roller and What Does It Do?
Self-myofascial release, likewise called “foam rolling,” has gone from some mysterious method used by only professional athletes, coaches, and specialists all the way to a familiar everyday, practice for individuals at all levels of physical fitness.
Self-myofascial release is an elegant term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or “trigger points”. This technique can be performed with a foam roller, massage ball, Theracane, or by getting a deep tissue massage.. By applying pressure to particular points on your body you have the ability to aid in the recuperation of muscles and assist in returning them to regular function. Regular function indicates your muscles are flexible, healthy, and all set to perform at a minute’s notice.
Do I Have Tight Muscles or Trigger Points?
Trigger points are certain “knots” that form in muscles. They are special and can be identified since they will refer discomfort. Discomfort referral, for our functions, can most quickly be explained as the discomfort felt when pressure is used to one location of the body, however the discomfort is felt or radiated in another location.
A common example of a trigger point is felt while foam rolling your iliotibial (IT) band as it causes pain to radiate as all the way to the hip and/or down the leg to the ankle. When rolling or working on tight/sore muscles you will undoubtedly experience pain or discomfort. Think of it like the pain you get while stretching. It should be uneasy, but not excruciating, when you are done rolling you should experience relief to some degree from whatever was bothering you.
How Does Foam Rolling Work?
Foam rolling works by using compression on the muscles to get tight muscles to relax or break them up in other words. What this really means is that it works to get rid of adhesions that form in layers of muscle, which is the main cause of a lot of muscle imbalance and pain from time to time. If you’re an active person, chances are you have some muscle adhesions that you may not be aware of but that using myofascial release would help your performance. If a muscle is left to form adhesions and be tight then you can experience a lack of flexibility, more adhesions to form and many movements will become painful over time.
Foam rolling or myofascial release works by getting more nutrient rich blood to flow to the muscle which many times may be blocked from blood flow due to adhesions, inflammation, etc. By getting more blood flow to your muscles you then help the body to restore healthy tissue and helps to achieve optimal muscle performance as well. When our muscles are pliable and supple, then they are prime to build muscle more efficiently, perform at peak levels and recover quicker as well.
Foam Roller Review
Some rollers have hard, thick cores for quick relief, while many offer a more gentle and less intense type of massage with a more flexible product offering. The rollers listen in our review are great for those that are experienced at using them and also if you are new to the whole thing. Most of the products listed in our review come with an instructional book to show you how to use it correctly to get the most out of it as well.
Breaking in our top 5 is the ProSource Ultra Deluxe Roller which is a solid roller for beginners and advanced users alike. It is larger than many of the other ones on the market and it comes with a reasonable price tag to boot. With the added size it provides plenty of area to roll out all areas of your body from your legs to your back. Advanced users or those that want a more firm roller may find this one to be a bit too soft as it’s about middle or the road in terms of density.
– Works great for big and small muscle groups
– Large size
– Cheaper than others
– Not as firm as you would think it should be
– Difficult to carry with you
– Kind of heavy
For those that are wanting a less intense roller that will provide a more gentle massage, then this roller is a great choice. Given its softer construction it’s also ideal for those that are seeking more of a relaxation massage instead of trying to just get painful knots out of sore muscles. It may be constructed of softer material but it’s actually a very well built roller that holds its own under everyday use. It also has the added benefit of looking different than other rollers, so if that is something you like as well then this is the roller for you.
– Softer roller (depending on your needs)
– Perfect for those that want a softer massage
– Stays clean easier than others
– Softer roller (depending on your needs)
– Has a chemical smell
– Diameter is smaller than most
This foam roller that is made by “Master of Muscle” is an appealing choice, especially for athletes who are looking for enhanced recovery and to alleviate typical post-workout aches and pains. It really doesn’t matter what type of activity you enjoy, whether it’s weightlifting or even Yoga, this roller can enhance performance in those activities and accelerate your recuperation time. The added benefit to this roller is that it is very portable and surprisingly light, so you can easily throw it in your gym bag or keep it in the back of your car for whenever you need it.
– Made of light-weight material
– Made for myofascial release in high performing athletes
– Readily available in lots of colors
– Can be a bit narrow
– Ridges aren’t as firm as you would expect
If it’s simplicity and effectiveness you’re looking for, then this foam roller is just right for you. This roller is made of a very high density material that works great for relieving issues such as IT band discomfort, adhesions and other pain from muscle knots and more. This is one of the denser models so if you are looking for something not quite as hard you may want to go with the OPTP Pro-Roller Soft Pink Marble roller as it is much more forgiving. This roller also is longer so it’s not the most ideal for putting into your gym bag but it does give you a lot of area to work out those knots and muscle pains.
– Large surface area, making it easier to work with
– Basic design
– Very dense, durable and hard
– May be too dense and hard for novice users
– May be larger than some users want
– Doesn’t include user’s manual
You could say that Trigger Point sort of started the mainstream use of foam rolling and made myofascial release something that millions of people benefit from today. While there are many different companies now that make rollers, none quite hold a candle to Trigger Point’s Grid series of rollers. They have improved upon that series with their newest release, the Grid 2.0.
Despite the fact that it’s made with less overall foam some of the other brands, the Grid 2.0 foam roller doesn’t disappoint at all. No matter your activity level when it comes to sports or fitness, you’ll absolutely love the Grid’s distinct distrodensity zone design, which works by simulating an actual massage with finger tips and the palms of your hand, just like you would if you got a deep tissue massage at a masseuse. It’s likewise created to be used a lot and can hold up to just about any amount of usage you throw at it. It’s the next best thing to getting an actual deep tissue massage with the added bonus you can get a massage anytime you like. This is by far the best roller on the market in 2016 and it’s from a great company as well.
– High density construction
– Easy to target muscle groups
– Highly durable
– May be too extreme for novices
– Depending on your needs, it may be too big
If you found this review helpful then you may find some of our other reviews, like our review of the best crossfit shoes on the market today. We reviewed all the top brands, put them through the ringer and came away with the top 5 of 2017.
If there is something that you wish for us to review or just want an opinion on something, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to signup for the newsletter so you can be up to date with all the latest in supplement reviews, training, and nutrition news.