Getting Out The Knot
Any athlete who is semi-serious knows the joys of a self-administered soft tissue after a workout. There are numerous types of ways in which ones can help relieve the stress that playing a rigorous sport can have on their back and other joints. The lacrosse ball, the tennis ball, and the foam roller are all implements of pain used in pursuit of a greater purpose, which is to provide relief to the sore and tight muscles and recover from a workout. Men and women alike roll themselves around these items with the intention of:
- Breaking up “fuzz”
- Liberating fascia
- Increasing mobility
- Enabling recovery
The pain in the moment is worth the potential for increased performance and the possibility of injury prevention.
For any athlete who has used a foam roller, he or she is familiar with a unique kind of pain. The diameter and density of a foam roller can make for a different experience and different benefit in the long run. People have been using the foam roller as a way to prevent and recuperate from injuries for decades. The original foam roller was made from loose foam but is an effective way to help one’s tissue improve while breaking down scar tissue. When using this older version of a foam roller it may make you feel a little uncomfortable as if you are being tortured. As you continue to use it you will know it is working as it gradually starts to feel like a soft pillow massaging your problem area.
The great thing about the ordinary foam roller is that they are affordable on any budget and typically costs between $10 – $15. The only main downsides of this roller is that it can wear out quickly which means that that $10 or $15 you spent could quickly start to add up when you have to replace the device. Also, while the roller has been proven to be effective for many, it really is only works the best for the complete beginner who doesn’t have much experience with rollers.
High-Density Foam Roller
Luckily, there is the high-density foam roller that is made of harder foam, which means it will not wear out as quickly. The high-density foam roller is perfect because the hardness makes it an effective way to massage and break down scar tissue and it’s hard shell means you won’t have to replace it as often. It typically costs a little more than the traditional foam roller, averaging $30 per roller. The investment is well worth it since it is built to last and can be used on anyone from beginner to advance athlete. Even the professional athletes have been known to use the high-density foam rollers!
For those that need a little more pressure, foam rollers are simply not enough. For these types of individuals, the Rumble Roller can be the perfect fit. The knobs in the Rumble Roller are designed to be more like the thumbs of a massage therapist and those who have used this device attest that using it makes one feel as if they have actual hands working on them. The height of the knobs allow for deeper penetration into the muscle. While a regular foam roller pushes on the tissue, the Rumble Roller gives one the sensation of kneading and opening tissues.
The depth of the knobs also allows the Rumble Roller to navigate uneven parts of the body better than a traditional foam roller. You can position yourself to avoid grinding on bones and sensitive parts, while still digging into your muscles. A roller that is firm, the Rumble Roller can be a little pricey, costing between $45 – $75.
Of course there are always those who are looking for ways to improve upon what already exists. One such new roller on the market is called the Grid. This revolutionary roller has a new sleek foam roller design and uses foam placed over a hallow core which prevents it from breaking down over time. The foam design also provides a variety of different densities, patters and widths that provide a more targeted trigger point feel. Through the use of different zones designed to feel like fingertips, forearm/palms, fingers and thumbs one is able to regulate the amount of pressure on specific muscles. The Grind is also smaller and easier to transport compared to other rollers on the market. This roller goes for anywhere between $40 – $70.
Pick For You
With many different types of rollers on the market, the one that you decide to utilize really depends on personal preference. There are many factors that can affect how a particular roller feels and works for you. Your body structure, size and injury will help determine which roller that you end up rolling your back on.
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