Knot A Problem: A Guide to Foam Rollers

Foam rollers tend to be seen as a form of torture rather than an assuagement. I’ve suffered painful IT bands, sore calves and plantar fasciitis but was able to relief a lot of my symptoms through incorporating foam rolling into my fitness routine.

As a form of self-myofascial release, the act of rolling out muscles after strength and cardio training helps to free the muscle of adhesions. This form of self massage also helps to increase circulation and blood flow to the area creating better mobility and performance to the athlete. While not as pleasant as a massage, foam rolling certainly does wonderful things for our bodies.

I remember asking my friend for a foam roller for Christmas one year and she thought she was giving me the strangest gift ever. As I have been to race expos and different gyms and experimented with different types of rollers I have started a little collection. Rollers can be as inexpensive as a tennis or lacrosse ball or can have more technology implemented into the device causing a more expensive product. I am providing you with some of my favorites I have come across so far!

Trigger Point, $39.99

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Trigger Point makes some wonderful rollers in various lengths as well as foam balls for targeted relief. This was my first foam roller and will always hold a special place in my heart, even if I did curse it out a few times in the beginning. I believe Trigger Point makes the perfect roller for those looking to add foam rolling into their routine. With cushioned, grid pattern, this roller is not as harsh as some but still manages to get the job done.

PVC Pipe

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Seriously! After discovering this trick at my local gym, I visited a nearby Home Depot, and was able to purchase a pre-cut piece that is about 30 inches long and 4 inches wide for less than ten dollars! Not only is it a more economical option, I feel that the PVC Pipe has the perfect firmness to help rid muscles of adhesions.

The Stick, $27.95

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Also known as the toothbrush for muscles, I love The Stick’s convenient portability. Standard flexibility keeps the base pliable while spinning, plastic knobs keep the muscles fresh. An excellent tool for a runner’s legs  provides enough pressure to relieve those knots while on the go!

Addaday Echo Oscillator, $90

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If you don’t have a vibrating roller in your collection, you should hop on this band wagon! I love this rechargeable option from Addaday, the Echo Oscillator. Three settings at low, high and alternating intensities allow for versatility. Being the most technical of the bunch, this cordless roller can be used alone in or placed in another hollow foam roller for a lighter intensity. Operating in 10 minute increments, this roller will last for two hours on a charge. Not to worry if the juice drains, as it charges quickly!

R8 Recovery, $119

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The R8 is a deep tissue massager that consists of eight wheels on a spring that self adjust to fit individual needs. The design while not lightweight, the R8 is compact and I love the fact that one can use it standing up or sitting, rather than laying on the ground with most other rollers. The pressure is strong but feels wonderful as it work out kinks and helps increase circulation. The design of wheels on dual sides allows both inner and outer legs to be worked simultaneously.

Do something nice for your muscles and start implementing foam rolling into your routine! Even if you spend ten minutes, your body will thank you. Do you have a foam roller that you love? Let me know about it! 🙂

The Runologist

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