Here at Running Warehouse, we are runners. With that comes a lot of quirks, like always asking each other about upcoming races, talking about food…a lot, stretching constantly, and foam rolling frequently. In fact, it’s not unusual to see someone hitting the foam roller at their desk a few times a day. I asked around and found that most of us here have a favorite foam roller, and all for a different reason.
If you are in the market for a foam roller, you’ve noticed that there are many options out there (and if you’re not in the market…well, you should be). A foam roller is one of our preferred pieces of equipment, and here are a few of our favorite ones to have around the house.
Best for First-time Rollers
When you are new to foam rolling, your muscles are more sensitive to the pressure the foam roller applies. It’s a good idea to start with a less firm roller, like the OPTP Axis Silver. When you start feeling like the Silver roller isn’t doing as much to your muscles, choose the more dense OPTP Axis Black, which will provide more pressure. Almost everyone at Running Warehouse has an OPTP AXIS foam roller. Why? Derek said the OPTP Silver was his first foam roller and he appreciated the softer feel and low price. Jasmine loves that the OPTP Black is long enough to roll out her back, and that its smooth surface gives a consistent pressure. The general consensus is that the OPTP Axis rollers are great for first-timers since they aren’t quite as dense as some other options. Therefore, they are great for people that aren’t quite used to the slight discomfort of self-massage. OPTP Axis foam rollers are also inexpensive so they are a great place to start.
Best for On-the-go Use
The Marathon Stick is our favorite travel buddy. It’s portable, simple, and easy to use. We like that the Marathon Stick pressure is easier to control compared to using your full body-weight on a traditional foam roller. And it allows you to target specific leg muscle groups easily. Sean loves its simple and effective design, and that he can grab ‘the stick’ and throw it in his gym bag for use immediately post-workout, or even keep it at his desk and use it throughout the day. The massage intensity of this product depends on how much pressure you give it, making it very versatile.
Best for Versatility
The Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller is my personal favorite in foam rollers. This foam roller uses different densities in a grid pattern. I find that I can adjust my massage depending on what I need at the moment. The smaller sections dig deeper into tough spots, while the larger, less dense sections are comfortable over more tender muscles. Then there are those days when I have a perpetual tough spot, and I reach for the Grid X Foam Roller, which has the firmest density of foam for the tightest areas. Grit your teeth and dig in!
Best for an Intense Roll
Of the many foam rollers Connor uses, his favorite massage product is the Trigger Point Cold Roller. He started using it as a tool for recovering from a calf injury, and loves the aggressive, deep massage the roller offers. He loves that it serves the dual purpose of icing and massaging. The roller will stay cold for several hours after removing it from the freezer. This isn’t ideal for a first-time user, but is a favorite among injury-prone runners and those looking for maximum recovery benefits.