Benefits of Using a Foam Roller
For athletes who know the benefits of a good massage, the roller offers a more convenient, less expensive, and very effective tool to help relieve muscle tightness, aches and pains, and improving range of motion, flexibility and recovery from exercise.
Regularly using a foam roller for self-massage and myofascial release is helpful for anyone who works out regularly, plays sports, or has a history of sports injury, scar tissue, or adhesions. It's also a simple way to relax and incorporate a bit of post-exercise rest and recovery into your training schedule.
The short list of benefits of using a foam roller include:
- Increases blood flow to the soft tissues
- Provides a good general muscle massage
- Provides targeted, trigger point massage
- Helps increase range of motion
- Relieves soreness and pains
- Helps with muscle balance and body alignment
- Helps speed post-exercise recovery
- Even if you don't exercise intensely, foam rolling eases aches, pains and tension caused by sitting at a computer all day.
Note: Not all muscle aches, pains and injuries can be helped by foam rolling. Check with your doctor before using a foam roller, especially if you have any health conditions such as heart disease, peripheral artery disease (PAD), problems with circulation or fibromyalgia.
The Benefits of Thera-Roll Textured Therapy Foam Roller
The manufacturers recommend the blue (soft) Thera-Roll for beginners, or those recovering from injury because it offers a gentle release. The purple (firm) is recommended for a deeper release focused on more active and fit individuals. And the grey (hard) Thera-Roll is designed for competitive athletes who require a more aggressive release from sore and fatigued muscles.
The smaller sized roller allows easy manipulation for targeting a specific body part, such as the neck, pecs and hip flexors, which are sometimes difficult to get to with a long standard foam roller. One of my favorite aspects of this foam roller is that the ribbed surface makes for a good foot massage, and is a helpful tool for treating plantar fasciitis. For the price, it's a perfect do-it-all foam roller.
Tips for getting the most out of the Thera-Roll
- Focus on the tight or sore spots where it's clear you need to increase range of motion.
- Roll the full length of a muscle
- Roll each muscle a 2-3 times.
- Roll in a slow, steady pace; don't rush through it.
- Stop and hold pressure on trigger points (the sore spots) until the pain subsides.
- Avoid rolling over joints and bony prominences, such as the knee and the hip.
- Use the roller several times a week.
Thera-Roll - Does What It Should at a Reasonable Price
This roller lives up to the claim that it can effectively releases the following muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, rhomboids, rotator cuff, glutes, piriformis, IT band, Achilles tendon, calf, feet and neck. However, as with any foam roller, it will hurt while you are working on the tightest areas. If you are extremely tight, go slow with this roller. The ridges, while effective, could be a bit too much for new users or those with extreme tightness.
Because it comes in various lengths and firmness levels, it may be a tough choice to decide which one is best for you, and will cover all your needs both now and in the future. If you are in doubt, the mid-length and the mid-firmness Thera-Roll is probably a good starting point.
The price is mid-range for a foam roller. The small length is a great deal at about $18. The large retails for about $55. While you can get a basic foam roller for under $10, I think the extra cost for a firm, textured surface is a good value.
As with every fitness product, it's helpful to try before you buy when possible. Overall, I like this roller a lot, and consider it a good product for the price.