The 10 Best Foam Rollers

Updated May 27, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Relieve some of your aches and pains or add a new element to your stretching regimen before and after workouts with one of these foam rollers. They're available in a variety of lengths, diameters, and textures, are good for dynamic strength applications and floor exercises, and can help reduce muscle tightness and improve joint flexibility. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best foam roller on Amazon.

10. GoFit Extreme

The GoFit Extreme features a patent-pending egg crate nodule design that gently manipulates and massages your muscle tissue at various angles. The 13-inch size is great for travel, but may be too small for use on larger muscle groups.
  • hollow core makes it easy to grab
  • includes a training manual
  • too soft for deep tissue relief
Brand GoFit
Model GF-EFR13-BLK
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. NewCell Integrate

The NewCell Integrate was designed by a structural integration specialist to help with trigger point massage and acupressure therapy. It offers a very firm, ridged texture that might be too intense for beginners or those with sensitive backs, though.
  • lightweight and portable design
  • available in three shapes and sizes
  • may leave bruises on your back
Brand NewCell
Model pending
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Spri EVA

The Spri EVA is designed with a heat sealed, non-porous foam that prevents moisture and bacteria from penetrating its exterior. Its very lightly textured surface provides an excellent grip for precision control and easily wipes clean after use.
  • won't lose its shape over time
  • includes an exercise guide
  • side seam may impede smooth rolling
Brand SPRI
Model EVA-FR36
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. OPTP Pro

The high-quality OPTP Pro provides a soft and comfortable lightly textured surface, good for relaxation techniques and gentle self-massages. It will last for years to come thanks to its durable cross-linked, closed-cell EVA construction.
  • stable form good for injured users
  • duotone marbled design
  • may split at the seam with heavy use
Brand OPTP
Model PSFR36
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. ProSource Sports Medicine

The ProSource Sports Medicine is available in 13- or 24-inch lengths, with a strong EVA foam-filled center for a safe and dependable workout. Two differently textured density zones, one medium and one firm, are well-balanced for optimal comfort.
  • evenly spaced ridges
  • available in four colors
  • can develop cracks over time
Brand ProSource
Model ps-2121-lmr-blue
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. SelfKare Fitness

For muscle relief or proper stretching before your workouts, turn to the SelfKare Fitness. It targets the source of the problem deep down, and caters to users of all sizes and skill levels, whether you're a beginner or an advanced athlete.
  • can withstand up to 550 pounds
  • hexagonal honeycomb textured surface
  • not intended for lower back use
Brand SelfKare Fitness
Model pending
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Freory Trigger Point

The 3-in-1 Freory Trigger Point is a versatile solution whether you're in need of a gentle or aggressive pressure point massage. It includes a handy stick that allows you to target hard-to-reach areas and two rollers of varying texture and density.
  • triple-nesting design for transport
  • good for myofascial pain relief
  • great value for the price
Brand Freory
Model pending
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Reehut 2-in-1

The Reehut 2-in-1 offers a robust structure with three different textures to reduce muscle tightness and improve joint flexibility. It is ideal for your quadriceps, hamstrings and any large muscle that calls for rigorous pressure.
  • slide-out core with a smooth surface
  • portable and space-saving design
  • includes a convenient carrying case
Brand Reehut
Model GoFLXRouleauDeMassageEn
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. RumbleRoller Original

The RumbleRoller Original is specially designed with firm but flexible bumps that continuously knead the contours of your body with every movement. It's available in several sizes, including lengths that allow for use with both legs simultaneously.
  • helps restore flexibility
  • effectively stretches soft tissue
  • backed by a 3-year warranty
Brand RumbleRoller
Model pending
Weight 4.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. AmazonBasics High Density Round

The AmazonBasics High Density Round is ideal for physical therapy, yoga, and muscle massages. Its extra-firm round surface is made of a molded polypropylene foam that will not lose its shape or stiffness even after years of heavy use.
  • durable construction repels moisture
  • comes in 3 lengths to fit your needs
  • micro-textured for a firm grip
Brand AmazonBasics
Model IB1014-sParent
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

The Importance Of The Fascia

The basic function of a foam roller is to mobilize the fascia of the body. The fascia is an interwoven covering of connective tissue over every muscle, bone, nerve, and artery in the body. It also surrounds the brain, heart, lungs, and spinal cord. Unlike other systems of the body which contain many individual parts, the fascia is one continuous structure that exists throughout the body without interruption.

Although it is a passive structure, fascia plays an important role in the proper function of the musculoskeletal system in the body. In a normal, healthy body, the fascia is relaxed and has a wavy shape to it. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. This is an important feature, as the fascia acts to reduce the friction of muscular force. The more relaxed the fascia is, the less friction is created as the muscles fire.

There are three layers of fascia, each playing their own important role in the body. The superficial fascia lies immediately below the skin; blending with the lowest layer of the dermis. Superficial fascia also surrounds organs, glands, and nerves in the body. It serves as a passageway for blood vessels, nerves, and lymph, and provides insulation in otherwise empty spaces. The visceral fascia is the tissue which suspends the organs in their cavities within the body and wraps them in connective tissue for insulation.

Visceral fascia is more sturdy than superficial fascia; as it needs to hold organs in place consistently. Deep fascia is the dense connective tissues which surround individual muscles and divide muscle groups to reduce friction. The deep fascia in a healthy body is highly elastic, allowing it to extend with the muscles as they stretch, yet hold its original shape when the muscles relax.

How A Foam Roller Benefits The Body

When one experiences trauma, the fascia loses pliability; becoming restricted and tense. Fascial restrictions can cause many symptoms that produce pain and restriction of motion; affecting the body's flexibility and stability, and largely determining a person's ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.

It does not take a traumatic event such as a car accident to affect the fascia. Incorrect posture or intense workouts can trigger small changes in this connective tissue, which over time leads to major dysfunction. Foam rollers help to counter this fascial tightness through myofascial release. After spending long hours in an office chair, the tissues of the body are generally tightened to fit to the contracted muscle tissue. Using a foam roller to apply steady pressure to the muscles can help break up these tight tissues, allowing them to relax back into an elongated resting position.

After an intense workout, the muscles of the body are pushed past their normal limits; creating small tears in muscle fibers. The body responds by tightening the muscles to prevent damage while they heal. The soreness experienced from this process is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and generally lasts from 24-72 hours after an intense workout.

Using a foam roller has been studied to reduce the recovery time of sore muscles experienced post workout. Researchers of this study found that participants who used foam rollers had a significantly shorter recovery time than participants who did not use foam rollers.

The Importance Of The Post-Workout Routine

Having a post-workout routine is just as important to the body as the act of working out. Recovery time between workouts largely decides the performance potential of any athlete; the quicker the body recovers, the quicker the athlete can partake in strenuous activity again.

After bouts of intense exercise, one of the most import things to do is engage the muscles in an active cool down period. Going directly from a high-intensity workout to resting can cause stiff, sore muscles. This is because muscles that were elongated from the workout are quickly contracted again. The body needs a cool down period to slowly bring the muscles to their normal range again. Light jogging, swimming, and walking are all great ways to slow the heart rate and actively cool the body off.

Once the heart rate is normalized and the body is in a more relaxed state, it is important to stretch the muscles out. Stretching after a workout encourages the muscles not to tighten up as much or as quickly as they would do without stretches. It also reduces the build up of toxins in the muscles, and makes the work of a foam roller much easier.

Incorporating a foam roller into the post workout routine is a must. Using a foam roller allows athletes to push out kinks and knots in the muscle tissue, and can soothe overly fatigued muscles. As they also act to break up the fascia, foam rollers promote the proper structure and function of healthy muscles.

Diet is the another important factor of a post workout routine. Athletes should drink plenty of water post workout to help flush toxins from the system. Good post workout foods are typically high in protein, as muscles use it to rebuild themselves from strenuous workouts.

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Last updated on May 27, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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