If you are one of those who are often sore from muscle injuries and contractures but do not have money or time to always go to the masseuse, then your ideal solution is a foam roller for massage therapy.
To buy the best foam roller for massage therapy, it is important that you know the characteristics of this product so that you acquire exactly what you need and that also fits your economic possibilities.
The first thing to say is that this is a product for any age, however, in children requires attention from an expert monitor in training and massages that is guiding the type of work, in addition, they require soft instruments and lower density
You can get them in different sizes and they are the right object for the relief of cramps, tense muscles and to improve the treatment of those who have suffered injuries in the practice of certain high impact sports.
They also come in different colours, densities and textures so it is absolutely necessary that before you buy one you have a mental test of the characteristics you are looking for in this product so you can make an informed and appropriate acquisition. Here we explain a series of factors that you should consider before buying one.
What is the best foam roller?
Once analyzed all the factors to consider when choosing the best foam roller for massage therapies, it is important to review the offers that the market has and declines for the one that best suits your needs and budget.
It is not a bad idea to have a guide or a small selection, so that your purchase is as informed as possible, and you can choose between the varieties offered by the different brands. Here we leave a series of suggestions for you to choose at your convenience.
If you are one of those who practice high impact sports then this massage foam roller may be what you need. It is an instrument of average density, standard size and medium firmness that make it perfect to relax the muscles after training.
This product of the brand Live On Edge, comes in green and has a unique design that makes it the ideal instrument for localized massage. It is lightweight and of standard size and ideal to challenge the main muscles.
In the opinion of those who already have one, it is the most versatile and complete roller that is available in the market, it is available at an affordable price and is made of good quality materials.
The Trigger Point model is made up of a grid that achieves an integral body training and its density allows a more realistic massage experience.
Users even claim that it is good for pain relief, treatment and therapy. However, if you are a beginner with these instruments maybe you should consider buying another softer roller, because the hardness of this would not be good for you.
Another of the most complete rollers of our selection. Its most remarkable quality is that it is made of good quality materials, completely resistant that makes it a durable instrument, for that reason it is also a bit heavier if we make comparisons with similar ones.
This brand brings to the catalogue a product specially designed for myofascial release since it relaxes the muscles, improves blood circulation and stimulates the stretch reflex in the muscles. Those who have already acquired this roller considered that it is ideal for the gym or home because its versatility serves for sports such as rugby, swimming, yoga or pilates.
It is designed in blue with textures that improve the massage experience, it is obtained at a good price considering its characteristics and comes with an instruction manual in Spanish.
The Edge Sports brand brings in this opportunity, for sports lovers, a semi-hard foam roller, specifically for deep tissue massages.
The foam roller model has an advanced matrix design with flexible foam nodules that controls the pressure and provides the proper message. One of its main qualities is that it is indicated for myofascial release.
Those who already have one, are of the opinion that it is a good quality instrument, easy to clean and comes with an exercise book that potentially improves their possibilities of use
It is a light and compact instrument, which can be easily placed anywhere and moved without a problem. It is available in the market at a low price, in red, strong texture and with a size of 13 inches.
It is indicated for athletes who practice disciplines such as bodybuilding, boxing and CrossFit because it relieves muscle pain in the neck, knee, back, quadriceps and hamstrings. However, it can also be used for therapy, treatment or rehabilitation.
If you are one of those who train constantly and need to keep your muscles relaxed, you should consider this purchase as an attractive option.
One of the main qualities of this roller is its low cost, this may seem superficial, but in the opinion of those who have already bought one, it does the same or better than the more sophisticated work by less than half, which in the long run represents an important savings for your pocket.
It is made of semi-hard foam that makes it the ideal instrument to relax back muscles, relieve contractures and help eliminate the stiffness that occurs in the lower back with some exercises.
It is achieved in the market in orange, in measures of 34 by 14 centimetres and is made up of a grid that allows a realistic massage experience and greater precision in the treatment to improve muscle pain or contractures proper to the muscles. constant practices of certain sports.
It is a compact, lightweight model and develops functions that make it a versatile and complete instrument. It is made of good quality materials and is easy to clean so you can take it easy to the gym without the fear that later it will be difficult to keep it clean. It is the most economical of our selection.
Good product and purchase recommended for those who are accustomed to rollers of strong texture and often use it for stretching before and after training.
It is a model manufactured in ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), typical material in sports environments. This quality makes it a resistant instrument, with low absorption of moisture and is not toxic.
The Physio World brand roller offers a lightweight instrument with a flexible texture that is ideal for muscle discharge, contractures and massages. It is available in the market in blue and pink colours and measures about 33 centimetres.
In the opinion of those who have already purchased it, it is a perfect instrument for stretching and recovering muscle injuries. It is made with good quality materials that provide flexibility to the roller and relief to those who use it.
Taking into account their resistance and other qualities, those who have used it insist that it provides a good price – value. If you are one of those who frequently have contractures, this roller is an ideal option to buy and have at home.
This instrument is one of the most striking and complete of the selection as it offers two rollers in one at an affordable price.
It is a model of the brand Bodhivana, available in the market in black, along with another internal roller that comes in various colours. Depending on its dimensions it can be orange, purple, green, blue or black.
The most representative quality of this roller is precisely that they are two in one. On the surface you will find a black semi-hard roller with high-density reliefs that serves for myofascial release, relieve pain, muscle tension, improves balance, mobility and blood circulation.
On the inside of the black roller you will get the second flexible foam roller, low density, without reliefs, ideal for softer massages and areas of the body that deserve a more delicate attention. This is the one that comes in different colours.
Experts recommend this product because it is a good quality instrument with added values that compensate its price and make it an attractive offer when buying, if we make comparisons with others available in this selection.
An eco-friendly option for your self-massage and self-stretching exercises is the roller that the Fit Nation brand offers in its catalogue, which brings a good quality product measuring 33 × 14 centimetres and available in six different colours.
This model is made with ethylene-vinyl acetate(EVA), a material that, in the opinion of experts, is durable and ecological and provide more strength and less weight. Its design also includes an ultra-lightweight hollow-core covered with high-density foam.
As a highlight, this roller is compact and is made up of a grid design ideal for therapy, pain relief and deep tissue muscle massages. It is also the most suitable to prevent or recover from any injury
It is the appropriate instrument for swimmers, athletes and athletes in general who apply great strength in their exercises and demand high levels of training from their body, and who then need to relax muscles exposed to hard physical work.
This model is available in the market at a good price, is available in blue, orange, black, green, pink and purple and, as an extra value, comes with an exercise guide in Spanish that gives you the training or knowledge necessary to give it more appropriate use.
If you are in need of a foam massage roller for pain relief and that you can use at home, in the gym or in the office, this model of the GS Sportswear brand would suit you.
Making a comparison with other similar products from our list of suggestions, we find that this is one of the least expensive in the market, provides an excellent value for money and, like others in the list, offers two rollers in one.
The first of the rollers that has incorporated, is a high-density instrument ideal for contractures and myofascial release, while the internal roller is of lower density and serves for softer and more delicate massages.
It is a compact and lightweight product, ideal to carry wherever you go. It is easy to use, resistant and durable, is made with good quality materials and is the most appropriate for trigger points and sore muscles.
This model of the ProSource brand is designed to last for years and years, not for nothing. Its price is the highest of our selection.
It is a luxury product, available in black, orange, blue and purple, with dimensions of 35.5 x 14 cm, designed especially for muscle and elastic massage, as well as for soft tissue
It is a product made with good quality materials and its cost corresponds to its characteristics. It is made up of a high-density relief fabric indicated for contractures, deep tissue massages, and even to prevent injuries.
Its design offers greater support and durability and allows the user to control with their body the oppression of the roller during the stretch and training phase.
In the opinion of those who already bought it, it is a product that is worth the investment and offers great advantages to those who usually require massages to relax their muscles.
If you are starting in the world of massage foam rollers, maybe you should go from this model and buy something more modest until you discover if you like it enough to make a more long-term investment.
Benefits of using a foam roller for massage therapy
Before and after the stretching exercises
The first way you can use a foam roller is to roll before your workouts, that is, during warm-up or stretching. This “pre-stretch” will warm and loosen any tendons, ligaments and tight muscles to prevent injury at the time of exercise.
They are particularly useful for runners or anyone who is prone to develop injuries from the repetitive exertion of exercise or a repeated and constant movement, even if that movement was done sitting at a desk.
When we say that it is also beneficial to use the post-training roller, we mean that with this we can apply to ourselves a kind of myofascial release therapy or even self-massage.
We know that the foam roller does not replace a professional massage therapist, however, it is a good tool for this type of therapy since it is similar to the low load style and long duration that can apply, in the massage of tissues, a sports therapist. The self-massage of a foam roller will literally release muscle tissue and stimulate mobility.
Prevents injuries and increases recovery time
The most obvious benefit of using them is to prevent injuries due to repetitive forms of exercise and improper stretching.
For example, running can often cause painful injuries of the iliotibial band, either outbreak, muscle tension, or the so-called Iliotibial Band Syndrome that occurs in the thin band part, that tissue is known as fascia and is part of the more prone areas of the muscle prone to receive this type of injuries. However, regular rolling of the foam in this area will loosen it and strengthen it to prevent damage.
In the same way, once the injury is produced, the roller promotes two very important aspects for the injured person, be it an athlete, an athlete or a person who normally executes repetitive movements.
Among these aspects we can mention a better range of movement and greater blood flow to the muscles and joints, elements that lead to faster recovery time after training and the ability to perform more strenuous exercises so you can reach your goals more quickly and with more success.
Increase blood circulation
Stretching thoroughly with a roller, such as an exercise, will stimulate the increase of blood circulation throughout the body, creating better muscle and joint mobility and range of motion, greater elimination of toxins and waste, a time of recovery faster muscle after strenuous exercise and less chance of injury.
One of the best ways to prevent an injury related to exercise is to increase the flexibility of the body. This can be done through a series of stretches using a roller, as well as through restorative style yoga postures.
As your body gains flexibility, areas prone to injury (ie, the Iliotibial band, hips, lower back and calves) will become longer, thinner and stronger, therefore, you will be more flexible and less prone to injuries.
How to choose a foam roller?
These supplements for exercise are considered a simple form of self-release, which is a common massage technique. With the pressure that your own body creates, you can use it on your back, hips, legs, arms and other parts of the body, to eliminate the knots in the muscles that are produced by repetitive movements during exercise or in daily activities.
These objects can also be used to increase balance and stability. You can find them in different sizes, shapes, types of foam, colours and price, depending on the specific use you will give them. When buying one of these massage and muscle relaxation equipment, there are three main considerations:
The foam rollers come in different densities, which determines how they feel and which are the most appropriate depending on the use that will be given, the type of injury and the needs of the person who will use them.
Its firmness is variable, this is a major factor in the way these objects are effective when it comes to providing deep tissue massages either to injured people who are willing to relieve their pain or simply as a massage.
Using a too-soft roller can provide inadequate pressure, while a too-hard roller can cause bruising and trauma, which can result in pain and have a negative effect on your performance.
If you are starting with the use of this add-on equipment for those who exercise constantly, choose a soft one. As your technique improves and your muscles adapt, you can progress in using a denser roller, that is, harder or firmer.
The firmer rollers are also better for long-term use because they are more durable. Softer rollers can deform permanently after a lot of use, which is an indication that it’s time to replace it.
Sometimes, the colour of the foam roller can give a clue to its firmness, the whites tend to be softer and the blacks harder.
The blue and red rollers are often of medium density. However, this may vary by brand. A simple way to test is to press rollers to assess their relative firmness.
For tissue massage or exercise?
Before buying a massage foam roller, it is important that you try several at a sports store or at your local gym.
The next thing is to determine how you will use it. For example, a half-round roll can increase your balance when you stand on it. It is often used by physical therapists to increase the perception of the position of the muscles after an injury to the knee or ankles, they are also a good option for the elderly or those with low strength and low muscle mass. That is, these types of rollers are often used for therapy.
As the colours of the rollers help us with the firmness, they also give clues to the use that can be given, for example, white is often used for exercise. These are made from a piece of polyethene sponge and are the least dense, so they allow more movement between the muscles, bones and the roller.
You can choose a blue or green roller, for a medium massage pressure or advanced balance exercises. These are made of polyethylene foam and are common in Pilates classes. Generally, the rollers of these colours are medium.
If you want a strong pressure massage then, in the opinion of experts, the most indicated option is a black roller, although these are mostly made with polyethylene foam, it is also a fact that they are made of closed cells and are manufactured in high heat, which makes them smoother, denser and less porous.
There are several options of texture and diameter of the foam rollers. Some rollers have crests and knobs that allow you to apply different pressure intensities and make a more specific message. Other rollers are smooth.
Rollers: This type of rollers have a basic design that provides uniform pressure along the entire length of the roller. These are a good option for someone who is starting to roll because the pressure is not as intense as that of those that do have texture. On the other hand, smooth foam rolls are usually less expensive than textured rolls.
Rollers with texture: This roller design seeks to imitate the hands of a masseuse. Crests and knobs on a foam roller can provide targeted massage to work the knots in the muscles. Many include a variety of texture so you can find the right amount of pressure.
Choose your shape and size of the foam roller
Foam rollers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, which affects the way they are used. You can find them according to their length and according to their diameter.
In the first case are the long rollers, which measure about 36 inches, these are versatile and an attractive option if it is your first foam roller. In the opinion of those who know, these rollers work well on your back because they are long enough to cover it all when they are placed perpendicular to the spine. They are also more stable than shorter rollers when you are working on your quadriceps, hamstrings and other parts of the body.
The shorter roller lengths are around 24 inches, they work well to attack smaller areas such as arms and calves. And, in addition, there are others even shorter, between 4 to 12 inches, which are useful for the comfort with which they are worn and in training areas with limited space on the floor.
Regarding the diameter of the foam rollers, it is useful to note that they are usually 5 or 6 inches in diameter, which is a comfortable height to relieve your body and then roll it in a controlled manner. Some people choose rollers of 3 or 4 inches in diameter for a deeper and more specific massage.
In the market you will also get the so-called, half roll, this variety seems to have been cut in half lengthwise. They are used to stretch legs and feet, and to massage the arches of the feet to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
There are also massage foam sticks, these are similar to conventional rollers and are used mostly on the feet for more precise pressure regulation and muscle alignment. The flexible roller massagers are ideal for massaging the upper part of the back.
Finally, there are also foam balls that allow precise control of muscle alignment and pressure and work well in curved areas of the body, such as the lower back.