Foam rolling is said to be a type of self-myofascial release (SMR) for targeting overworked and tense muscles. It is not different from myofascial release which is a common massage technique also known as deep-tissue massage. If you have a session with a Licensed Massage Therapist, they would use their hands and elbows as well as other tools for pressing directly on that tight muscle until the tension is released.
You can use roller foam to do foam rolling exercises with the pressure your body creates on several parts such as the back, legs, arms, hips and other areas with the aim of releasing muscle knots. Core stability and balance can also be achieved by these foam rolling exercises. Before determining which foam roller to buy, you need to consider various factors such as cost, foam type, shape, and size.
Deciding what exactly you intend to do will help you determine which foam roller to buy and how it will fit your needs. We shall, therefore, discuss how you can choose the best foam roller good enough for your needs.
- Try the different types of foam rollers at the gym or sports supply store
A lot of people learn foam rolling from a personal trainer or through a class. There, they learn the several techniques that help them get the best out of the foam roller and know the exercises that can be done with the roller.
- Decide if your foam roller is majorly for tissue massage or for exercises like core training and balance
It isn’t round and rolls slightly, however your balance can increase when you stand on the half-round foam roller. Physical therapists usually use it to enhance proprioception after the ankles or knees get injured. Proprioception is simply the body’s sense of its parts in relation to one another.
- Choose the firmness most suitable for you
This should depend on your experience level with the foam roller. Many foam rollers have been color-coded depending on their firmness with white being the softest, blue or green having medium density and black being the firmest.
If you are just beginning with a foam roller, it is advisable to use the white foam roller. They are usually made from a piece of polyethylene and are the least dense among all. This implies that to get the best foam roller for back, start with the one with minimal density.
- Choose how often you use the foam roller
If you are going to use your foam roller frequently then you should use the black foam with high density because of its durability. Other colored foams or even the white ones would warp over time but if the less dense ones are your choice then look for brands with the guarantee of not warping.
- Pick your foam roller size
Most foam rollers, apart from the half-round foam rollers, are 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter but have different lengths ranging from 12 to 36 inches (30 – 90 cm).
If you want the best foam roller for back, you should go for the 36 inch (90 cm) foam roller. The longer the foam roller, the better because it stands perpendicular to the back and therefore prevents you from falling off.
- Go for a 12 inch (30 cm) round roller if you are going to transport it often.
- Know your budget.
The price of a foam roller depends on the materials used for making it. For instance, white foam rollers cost less because of their low density while the black ones with high density cost more.
- Go online or to a fitness store to research on getting the best foam roller for yourself.