When you are buying a Foam Roller, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many colors, sizes and densities. Let’s discuss density, because the density of your roller is key to getting the results you want.
BUT…. before you purchase a foam roller you need to ask yourself:
Q- What is the purpose of foam rolling?
A- Break up scar tissue and adhesion in my muscles
Q- Am I willing to learn the correct techniques to safely and effectively use a foam roller?
A- Yes I am, that is why I’m checking out Your HealthySteps blogs and videos 😉
When you are choosing a density for your foam roller you need to look at the type of foam the roller is made from. It is the type of foam used that determines the density of the the roller.
The PE foam rollers:
The PE is a type of foam used in these roller. They use to only come in the color white. I have started to see them come in other colors. The PE foam roller are a very soft foam they are generally use for geriatrics, or for those with bone density issue (check with your doctor) because of their softness. These foam roller don’t hold up well with any type of use and tend to get smooched and break apart. We do not use the PE foam rollers in our clinic, training or in-services.
The EVA foam rollers:
EVA rollers come in a wide range of color from green, orange, blue. The foam is a closed cell foam that has good water & moisture resistance, excellent cushioning, and long term durability. They are popular in Yoga studios. In our 14 years of teaching foam rolling, we find that the EVA just doesn’t get deep enough to break up the intermediate and deep layers of scar tissue and adhesion. The EVA really only gets the superficial layers. They tend to feel good when you use them but they just don’t get deep enough.
High Density EVA foam rollers:
The makers of EVA foam roller heard the cry that EVA foam rollers just weren’t getting deep enough so they came out with the high density EVA foam roller. These foam roller come in all sorts of colors and designs too. They just make it into what is officially called “The Firm Zone”. High Density EVA rollers have the same long term durability and moister resistance, so the quality is there. Unfortunately they just are not firm enough to get the intermediate and deeper layers of scar tissue and adhesion out of your muscles.
The EPP Foam Roller:
EPP rollers tend to be black in color. They have a very tight closed cells of foam that creates a very firm roller. This is the firmness that you need to get to all layer of scar tissue and adhesion in your muscles. This is what we have used as we’ve been teaching foam rolling. That being said, we strongly feel that you need to learn the techniques that allow you to slowly work your way into the deeper layers of scar tissue and adhesions. We teach our clients and students to go from basic, intermediate, and advance allowing them time to adjust to the tenderness while increasing the mobility of their muscles.
Foam Rollers with ridges, and bumps:
There are a variety of foam rollers out there with bumps, and ridges that are design to get deeper into the muscle. Do they really get deeper into the muscle? From our experience, we can’t say that they really do. They are very effective at going deeper into your wallet though! Some of these rollers can be quite pricey.
As we have been teaching foam rolling we have never use any foam roller with ridges or bumps. With the proper techniques you will be able to work as deep into the muscle as you need. Again it is all about learning the right techniques.
Vibrating Foam Rollers:
Again we have never used or taught anyone to use a vibrating foam roller. They are expensive, have parts that will eventually break and they either need batteries or need to be charged.
Our vote for a good, durable, affordable, and versatile foam roller is the smooth EPP roller.
With the education and training, this roller is perfect for the mom who’s back is hurting from working on the computer all day to the athlete training for an Iron Man.
Read this blog next:
How to Know What Size Foam Roller Works for Me!
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