Muscle soreness following a tough workout can throw off your routine, which is why so many people turn to foam rollers to get back on track. The foam roller is one of the most accessible recovery tools out there; it’s so easy to use that it’s become an essential tool for athletes to prepare for and cool down from a workout. Beyond helping alleviate muscle soreness, foam rolling offers a laundry list of potential health benefits, including an increased range of motion, expedited recovery after workouts, and even increased lubrication of the muscles if you roll them out before a workout.
But with so many options out there, shopping for a foam roller might be trickier than you’d expect. For starters, they come in a range of different densities, from soft, foamy tubes to hollow, plasticky cylinders. There are even foam rollers with ridges and spikes to target trigger points on the body—these deliver sharper, more intense muscle release than a smooth, traditional roller can provide.
Soft, low-density rollers are ideal for newbies, people who have supertight muscles, or those who are experiencing tenderness in areas of the body like the glutes that could use a gentler touch. You can certainly dial up the pressure with a more solid, denser foam roller (or a notched, ridged one), though, if you’re trying to reach deeper muscle groups like those around the hips and scapula.
Depending on what shape, size, texture, density, and price point you’re aiming for—you have options. To get a closer read on what’s worth buying, we sourced some foam-roller recommendations from folks you can trust—and who better to ask than fitness pros who use them day in and day out on themselves and their clients? Below, 10 foam rollers that trainers can’t live without, including some unusual, heated, rocking, and vibrating options.
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