What To Look For When Buying a Foam Roller

Welcome! My name  is Brian Hagan with HealthySteps. Our vision to provide you with the support, education, and techniques to help your steps on your unique health journey


Today I want to share with you about what is a foam roller and why is it an important tool for self care.

A foam roller is a 6 inch cylinder made of different densities. It is a great tool to help you reduce muscle stiffness soreness, pain. It helps increase our range of motion, and reduces the risk of muscle injury

The foam roller is used by rolling it over the muscles of your body. This compresses the muscle helping to break up adhesion and scar tissue that have formed over time in the muscle.

Why is this important? A large part of this stiffness, soreness, pain and loss of range of motion is do in part to the scar tissue and adhesion you collected in the muscles over time. These scar tissues and adhesions limit the movement and strength of the muscle. Breaking this stuff up and getting it out of the muscle goes a long way to helping you move better with less stiffness and increase your range of motion. When you have better function in the muscle you gain more strength and power, and reduce your risk of muscle injury.

Okay so what is it your looking for when you’re looking to buy a foam roller.

Here are the most important things for you to keep in mind when shopping for a foam roller.

You need to keep in mind the purpose of the foam roller. (Its purpose is to breaking up adhesions and scar tissue in the muscle) Basically, if there is no discomfort when using your foam roller then it isn’t working.
You need to be honest with yourself and accept how much discomfort you are willing to tolerate to get the results that I want. You don’t want to be the one who buys the most dense foam roller then never uses it because it hurts to much.
Are you willing to buy a less dense foam roller in the beginning knowing you will have to up grade to a more dense foam roller in then future.

Okay now it’s time to look at the types of foam rollers that are out there. Foam rollers come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. So much so it can be confusing and frustrating when trying to figure out what to buy. I am a big fan of keeping things simple. I am not going to go into the more extreme foam rollers. These are the ones with ridges, and trigger point knobs on them. I am not saying they don’t work. Its just that you don’t need to go to that extreme to get the job done. So I am just going to stay with the smooth foam rollers. Smooth foam rollers come in a variety of colors. I going to recommend two colors Blue (medium density) and Black (high density).

The Blue (medium dense) foam roller is a great start especially for those who want to work into their muscle slowly with just a moderate amount of tenderness or discomfort. For those who are new to this and want to start slow and gradually go deeper, this is a great starting tool.

The Black foam roller is more dense. This is really where you need to get to if you want to get the most flexibility and function back in your muscles. This is the foam roller you need if you want to work out at a higher level or do higher activity levels like triathletes, or marathons. It is important for me to say again that if you are not ready for level of intensity then you will not use it and then its just a waste of money.

You just have to be honest with yourself. So I hope this is helpful. Feel free to contact me at HealthySteps

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