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Foam rollers are one of the best exercise tools you can have at home and in the gym for warming up, recovering and even keeping your muscles warm during the workout itself. “Rolling” entails rolling out various parts of your body, whether it be your calves, quads, back or shoulders, on a pillar-shaped piece of foam or other material designed to soothe muscle aches and work through knots easily.
The changes in pressure as you roll on and off the device may help your fascia tissues rearrange after a tough workout, and may help decrease muscular soreness over time.
You may remember a time when foam rollers seemed to be reserved for pro athletes and fitness freaks, but more recently they’ve become a workout essential for exercise lovers of all levels.
Massaging your muscles by foam rolling has massive benefits and can help eliminate tight areas, trigger points and knots in muscles as well. Here are a few of the most noticeable perks of using a foam roller:
- Improved Blood Flow – Increased blood flow from foam rolling encourages better circulation, which, in turn, improves flexibility and tissue density while also discouraging stiffness, tension and blood clotting.
- Reduced Muscle Tension – Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that helps to relax muscles and relieve tension. Both of these benefits can result in further flexibility and overall improved performance, which is why many users roll both before and after exercise.
- Faster Recovery – If you’ve ever experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS,) then you’ll know the pain that comes with it. Equally, there are a lot of other muscle injuries that can cause pain when exercising. Using a foam roller aids recovery and helps to encourage the muscle repair needed to combat many types of injury.
Is Foam Rolling Better for You Than Stretching?
Foam rolling is not the same as stretching, but they both serve a critical purpose in recovery routines. Rolling out massages a muscle, whereas stretching elongates it over time. Stretching your body doesn’t get rid of knots, whereas foam rolling does. If you think of stretching a rubber band out to untie a knot, it doesn’t work. Whereas taking the time to move in different ways and probably go back and forth a little will eventually displace the knot. Even if you don’t exercise often (or at all) knots can build up from bad posture, sitting, bad nutrition and stress. So having a foam roller on hand to reduce them is a huge benefit.
Although foam rollers used to be expensive, more options and a higher demand have led to reduced prices and accessibility. Below are 16 of the best foam rollers you can buy right now on the web, including options from all areas of the pricing scale, some vibrating options, and the lineup from our favorite recovery brand.
Best Brand: Therabody Wave Products
Therabody makes a whole bunch of recovery products including massage guns, and their Wave roller collection. The first product worth highlighting in this line is their signature Wave Roller, that’s a full-body roller for larger muscle groups like your legs, back and glutes. It comes with vibrations built in as well as a wave texture on the exterior for delivering a powerful, full-body experience. The high-density foam dampens the noise from the outside and it’s got five different customizable vibration frequencies to choose from.
2. Therabody Wave Duo
This rolling massage device from Therabody has a two-ball design and is contoured to specifically target the back, spine and neck areas of the body. It’s got five vibrational frequencies to choose from and has high-traction wave grooves on the outside for delivering precises angles of pressure to the right areas. It curves around the spine for safety and has 200 minutes of battery life on every charge.
3. Therabody Wave Solo
For super pinpointed, precise massage therapy, the Therabody Wave Solo is perfect. Its rounded design makes it a vibrating lacrosse ball of sorts for easing sore spots anywhere on the body. It also has the innovative wave texture on the outside the entire line is known for, and the QuietRoll Technology mutes the sound for a therapeutic experience alongside the powerful vibrations. It comes with three different vibration frequencies you can choose from, and 120 minutes of battery life on every charge.
4. 321 STRONG Foam Roller
The 321 STRONG Foam Roller is the best when it comes to being super durable without breaking the bank. This foam roller definitely doesn’t have the lowest price tag in our round-up of rollers, but it does boast the best balance between cost and quality. It features 3D massage zones positioned to imitate a masseuse’s thumb, palm and fingers. Plus, this foam roller is available in a range of unisex colors, so no doubt there’s one of these rollers to suit your style.
5. TriggerPoint Foam Roller
The TriggerPoint Foam Roller is covered in different textures designed to mimic a fingertip, a flat finger and a palm. Its GRID surface will enhance your rolling and encourage an in-depth massage when in use. Unlike most foam rollers, this one has a hollow middle which allows for an easy grab and clear appreciation of the high-quality materials used by TriggerPoint. Plus, it’s super lightweight for transportation ease.
6. LuxFit Foam Roller
For a bare-bones, low-priced option, we recommend this LuxFit foam roller. It’s made of a tough polypropylene foam to avoid any unwanted old gym smells and also to ensure it won’t lose its shape after heavy use. Just choose from the three different color options and four different length options. All of the options are 6 inches in diameter. With one of these at your side, you can roll your way to happier muscles.
7. Yes4All Foam Roller
You can’t go wrong with the Yes4All Foam Roller. At under $20, it’s a total steal and will still ensure your muscles are rolled despite its highly affordable price tag. It’s available in a range of different colors as well as four different length options, too. So, you can choose exactly what length you need and which pattern matches your gym gear best. The 18-inch length is even small enough to take back and forth to the gym with you.
8. The Original Body Roller
BEST COLOR RANGE
Colors can have a huge impact on our mood. After all, why do you always have a good day when you wear your yellow sweater and a bad one when you put on its brown alternative? Let’s not ignore this thinking when it comes to your foam roller. Ensure your new muscle master is a color correct addition to your gym set up. The Original Body Roller is available in seven different colors, including multiple shades of the rainbow and black, so The Original Body Roller definitely has an option to keep you, and your muscles, feeling good.
9. Gaiam Restore Foam Roller
Gaiam Restore Foam Rollers are available in six different color and pattern variations, including a grey option with a slightly more textured surface. Each of these rollers is 18 inches long and made from a medium-density material to allow for the ultimate in muscle recovery. The rollers also come complete with a digital download of instructions which take you through a step-by-step guide of how best to use your new foam friend.
10. AmazonBasics High-Density Foam Roller
Like everything else, Amazon has started producing its own version of the foam roller. And, if they’ve gone out of their way to create their own-brand foam roller, there’s no doubt this is a product you need in your life. Their well-made foam roller has a high density to ensure it holds its shape and is very well-reviewed. Plus, it’s a great option if you’re on a budget. It’s available in seven different colors and four different lengths.
11. TriggerPoint Handheld Foam Roller
For a foam roller you can use anywhere, look no further than the TriggerPoint Handheld Foam Roller. This colorful piece of equipment will allow you to tend to your muscles at home, in the office or even on the move. It doesn’t require a floor area to set up like traditional rollers, so it will also allow you to reach some of the harder to get areas on your body, like your upper back. The built-in handles make it super easy to use.
12. 321 STRONG Foam Roller Set
Foam rolling is just the beginning with the 321 STRONG Set. Four other pieces of muscle stretching equipment are included, namely stretch straps, two massage balls and a massage stick, too. They all follow the same color scheme based on your selection, including green, blue, black or pink. With this foam roller set in your home gym, you’ll be looking great while making your muscles feel great at the same time.
13. Epitome Vibrating Foam Roller
Shake away any muscle tension as you roll with the Epitome Vibrating Foam Roller. The experience of using this foam roller will be an upgrade from any classic, non-vibrating rollers you’ve used in the past. The enclosed vibrating engine can produce up to 3,600 vibrations per minute and will last for up to two hours when fully charged using the included wall plug. Plus, it includes a carrying case for easy transportation.
14. NextRoller Vibrating Foam Roller
The NextRoller Vibrating Foam Roller is the best when it comes to relaxing, stretching and recovering your muscles. It has three different vibration levels which you can easily switch between using the selector on one end of the roller. At the other end, you’ll find an ergonomically designed carrying handle, so you can take your new best foam friend with you everywhere.
15. Chirp Wheel+ Foam Roller for Back Pain Relief
BEST FOR BACK
If you’ve got back pain almost exclusively and want a roller made specifically for addressing an achy spine, this Chirp Wheel+ back stretcher is made for you. It’s a 10 inch deep tissue wheel that helps stretch out your thoracic and lumbar spine regions through rolling back and forth. It’s made to help improve balance, strength and flexibility, and may help relieve pain from posture-related strain, functional disorders and other causes. It’s made with durable, skid-resistant materials as well as eco-friendly padding, and the injection-molded rigid core can support up to 500 pounds.
16. Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Foam Roller
Hyperice is a high-end fitness brand that’s known for their massage guns, among other recovery products, and they’ve also got a great vibrating foam roller for sale on Amazon. The Vyper 2.0 is made to ramp up the effects of foam rolling through increased circulation and flexibility through vibration. It’s got three different vibration speeds to choose from, and has a cordless, compact design you can use anywhere. It’s designed to help you increase your range of motion by up to 40% and is made with a German-engineered 40 watt motor for consistent power. It’s used by professional athletes, personal trainers and coaches of all kinds, and has both a smooth and grooved exterior.