Rumble Roller vs. The Grid
Foam rollers were originally designed to help athletes self-administer a form of soft tissue therapy. Essentially, they massage knots and soreness in the major muscle groups. The rollers relax and stretch tense muscles while improving circulation. In many cases, this can result in pain reduction and increased range of motion.
Generally, you can use rollers on the calves, quadriceps, hips, back, and other medium to large muscle groups. The technique involves slowly rolling the muscle over the foam until a sore area is found and then massaging these areas with the nubs or protrusions of the roller to relieve the pressure.
Some workout programs call for a foam roller to support or raise certain areas of the body for a more effective workout, especially for the core muscles in the abdomen.
Note that the color of the roller will often denote how firm it is but not always. Generally, white is for beginners who have little to no muscle constriction, blue uses an intermediate foam, and black is the densest and hardest.
The Rumble Roller is described as “a meat grinder for your muscles.” That’s a pretty accurate description.
The blue Rumble Roller is the softest foam core offered by this particular manufacturer. Its raised notches are designed to simulate the hands of a trained massage therapist: “firm but flexible.” The amount of weight you put into the roller will determine how deeply the nodes can massage the muscle. If needed, you can use the roller with a weight on top of the body, but most people find the notches high and firm enough to be effective with body weight alone.
There is a black version of the Rumble Roller which is 36% denser. The black Rumbler Roller is best for advanced users who have already worked with a medium density foam roller.
This roller comes in two lengths: 30” and 12” in both 5” and 6” diameters. The longer one is better for backs and shoulders, while the shorter one is a bit easier to work with for the legs and sides.
The Grid is a similar foam roller, although its nodules are not raised as high as the Rumble Roller. The Grid uses three distinct textures that are designed to mimic specific massage therapy motions.
The High and Firm section in the middle of the roller looks like a grid of rounded pyramids; it is meant to “feel like fingertips.” The Medium and Tubular section that runs laterally on the sides of the High and Firm section are designed to feel “like the fingers and thumb.” And the edges of the roller are Low and Flat, which are supposed to imitate the forearms or palms.
The Grid comes in 5” (Mini), 13” (Original) and 26” (Grid 2.0) lengths. All of the lengths measure at a 5” diameter. There are 5 colors, including a camouflage pattern, although all of them have the same foam density. The foam provides a solid medium pressure.
The Major Differences
In our experience, the Rumble Roller, with its tall, separated nodules is best for serious, targeted muscle relief. It can find pressure points and sources of deep-set pain you didn’t even know you had and then work the muscle to relieve the pressure. You can also wiggle side to side to get a more “digging” effect from the nodules. Some people find the density of the Rumble Roller’s foam combined with the high-set protrusions to be too intense.
The Grid is better suited for light to medium muscle massage and core workouts. The Mini Grid is also great for travel, as it fits easily in a gym bag.
Also, we should note that the Rumble Roller is a foam roll with a solid inner core, where as the Grid is a hollow tube of plastic similar to a sturdy PVC pipe. A few users have experienced the Grid collapsing with too much weight or pressure applied, but the Grid is well-designed and retains it shape much better than other foam rollers. They offer a 1-year warranty, and the roller itself is rated to withstand up to 500lbs.
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