If you’ve read the title of this post and asked “Why do people need foam rollers?” or “What’s the big deal?” The answer you will probably receive from anyone who has ever used one is “They’re AWESOME!” The next question on your lips will be, “Awesome for what, though?”
Why you need a foam roller
Foam rollers have been around for a while, and are not only for extreme athletes, professional sports stars or just another tool recommended by your physiotherapist. You may have seen one at your friend’s house, at your local gym, or heard someone talking about it on TV.
Rollers are excellent tools for Self-Myofascial release, or to regular people, self-massage. The benefits range from preventing common injuries, improvement in flexibility and after you’ve finished, the end result leaves you less stressed and relaxed because they also release tension in any connective tissue. They may even be able to save you some money by reducing visits to your massage therapist! Sounds amazing, right? If you’ve ever gone to buy one though, you’ve probably been overwhelmed by the variety of foam roller products out there.
What’s with all the shapes?
Some have odd designs and patterns and some even have intrusive bumps on them. Then you have to pick which size and density you need! The reality is; it can be difficult to decide which one suits your needs. We’ve covered the different types of foam roller material in a previous post, but what about all the different shapes?
Choosing a 15cm diameter roller will be more versatile for most people’s requirements. As for choosing a length – that is completely up to you! If you travel a lot, a small size is great for squeezing into suitcases, but if you intend to roll at home, then a full size is perfect.
For the inexperienced user we recommend a smooth round roller, if you’re looking for more targeted firm relief try one with nodules or fingers to target individual problematic muscles.
For the beginner, we recommend starting off with an EVA foam roller which would be similar to those which you’ll find in your local gym or pilates and yoga class.
For those more experienced in Foam Roller use, or beginners looking for more of a challenge, we recommend an EPP as they are a firmer version of foam roller.
For the experts looking for a more intense, or a deep tissue rolling experience, we’d recommend a Trigger Point Roller or Pyramid Roller.
Hopefully we’ve helped guide you towards buying the foam roller that’s perfect for you. If your head’s still spinning have you read our previous article on Foam Roller Materials?