Rolling With It

5 Tips: How to Choose a Foam Roller

5 Tips: How to Choose a Foam Roller

Exercise is a big part of maintaining and reclaiming health. Foam rolling now goes hand in hand (no Rist Roller® pun intended) with both preparing for regular exercise and the healing process of rehabilitation. Foam rolling is simply a self-myofascial release (SMR) process  it helps release restrictions based on the amount of body pressure you use when rolling.

Additionally, the amount of pressure you'll feel will depend on the density of the foam you are using. Foam rollers are foam cylinders that can either be made of soft materials like polyethylene and EVA, or harder polystyrene variants. It is important not to get too hung up on the type of foam (polystyrene, polyethylene, or EVA), as all of these types come in different densities that will affect how soft and durable they are.

5 Tips on How to Choose a Foam Roller

Below are some general tips on choosing your soul foam, your partner-in-rolling, your significant cylinder. If you are rolling as part of prehab or rehabilitation, you should listen to your health care professional's advice when it comes to both choosing a foam roller and how to use it. (You however, can pick out your roller's name.)

    1. Consider the size of the roller needed. How and when do you plan to use your foam roller? The traditional foam rollers come in different sizes, though all have a diameter of about 6 inches. The height of the roller will impact how easy is it is to get around with it. You may decide to have a nice tall one at home, and a shorter one that you can take with you on the go.

      If you are interested in foam rolling out your forearms, palms, wrists, feet, and neck, then dare we say 
      Rist Roller®  offers the best of both worlds? With diameters of 1.5"-2", these are truly the "mini foam roller" and you can take your Rist Roller® with you anywhere!

      Traditional rollers that are called "mini" are using that designator for roller height. So you can choose a 6" diameter "mini" roller that is 1 foot tall if you like.

    2. Consider how often the roller will be used. If you intend to use the roller regularly, it is advisable to buy the one that is durable. Generally, colored and black foam rollers foot the bill for heavy use because they are strong. These are typically made of EVA or very dense polystyrene.

      The white rollers (usually less dense varieties of polystyrene and polyethylene) usually wear out easily.

      It is important to note that any type of foam (polystyrene, polyethylene, or EVA) can come in a variety of colors and densities. The white ones on the market are typically less dense, and the colored and black ones are typically denser.

    3. Decide on the required firmness of your roller. Just when you were about to run off and purchase a dense roller, we have something else for you to consider. Your personal experience with foam rollers is an important factor in how to choose one!

      Beginners should generally start out with a less dense roller. Softer foam equates with less pain.

    4. To Google! Conduct research at local fitness stores and online. There is such a variety of foam rollers out on the market today, you will be doing yourself a service to search around the internet and read some reviews. You can also ask about different rollers at sports stores near you, or ask your Physical Therapy provider.

    5. Try to try before you buy. To avoid buying a foam that will be difficult to use, see if you can try some rollers out at your sports club, fitness store, or health care professional's office. You can also get some expert advice while you are at it!

Check out some scientific studies involving foam rollers here!

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