Lets take a look at the different types of density available for foam rollers but first, let’s ask the most important question:
“What is my purpose for foam rolling?” Most people who foam roll don’t really have a clear idea of the purpose of why they are foam rolling. They have been told that they need to do it, and that it will help their muscles.
THE POINT OF FOAM ROLLING IS TO BREAK UP AS MUCH SCAR TISSUE, ADHESIONS, AND HYPER-IRRITATED POINTS (TRIGGER POINTS) IN THE MUSCLE AS YOU CAN, SO THAT YOUR MUSCLE CAN MOVE MORE FLUIDLY, WITH LESS PAIN.
The more dense a foam roller is the better job it will be able to do to break up scar tissue, adhesions and trigger points.
There are a variety of density choices when it come to foam rollers. The best way to categorize foam rollers into their different densities is by the type of foam that was used to make them.
Lets start with the least firm foam rollers out there.
These are called PE foam rollers. Typically they are white or light blue in color. They are more on the soft side. Although they tend to be inexpensive, they generally do not hold up well even under light use. We only recommend the PE foam roller for geriatric use or for those who have medical concern such as bone density issues, and only under a doctor or physical therapist supervision.
The next level in firmness would be the EVA foam rollers.
EVA foam rollers tend to be popular in Yoga studios. They can come in any color and design you can think of. EVA foam is a closed cell foam that has good water & moisture resistances and long term durability. It also has excellent cushioning and shock absorbing abilities. If your goal is to break up as much scar tissue, adhesions, and hyper-irritated points in your muscles as you can, then the EVA foam roller is not a good choice because it is not dense enough.
Next, is the High Density EVA foam roller.
The High Density roller is firmer then the EVA. It officially just makes it into the category of firm, but just barely. They have the same qualities, colors, and designs available as the EVA foam roller, its just a bit firmer. Our experience here is that even though it is firmer, it is not firm enough to help us reach the goal of breaking up scar tissue, adhesions and tender points.
This leads us to the High Density EPP Foam Rollers.
As the name states these are high density and very firm foam rollers. They cost about the same as the EVA foam roller and will last for a very long time. They are water and moisture resistant and very durable. They don’t offer the cushion and shock absorbing qualities because they are design to be able to get deep into the muscle and break up the scar tissue, adhesions, and hyper-irritated points in the muscle.
It is important to learn how to use the High Density Foam Roller correctly so that you are not too aggressive in the beginning.
This is why we offer on-line training to teach you how to work your way from the more superficial layer of scar tissue and adhesions to the intermediate and then finally deeper layers of your muscles.
Why is it important to get as much of the scar tissue and adhesion out of your muscles as you can?
We answer those questions here:
Why Scar Tissue Makes Your Muscles Sore, Tight, and Achy
Why Adhesions Make Your Muscles Sore, Tight and Achy
If you would like to learn more about our online Foam Rolling Program
“Purposeful Foam Rolling”
Christina and I are the creators of the online self care course “Purposeful Foam Rolling”. We teach you how to effectively and efficiently Foam Roll. So you can take control of reducing your muscle pain and tightness. This video is for educational purposes only. We are not treating, diagnosing or prescribing. We are giving you 15 Years of experience as Neuromuscular and Sports Massage Therapist. Check with your doctor first before doing this or any exercise program.