As a general rule, rollers come in three density categories: soft, medium or firm. This only really matters if you’re buying a roller for self-massage. The harder the roller, the more intense the massage.
After a tough workout, there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to follow: sore muscles. Enter the Foam Roller. Compact and versatile, it’s a fab tool for self-myofascial release (self-massage). It’s also a handy tool for increasing stretches and challenging balance in Pilates.
Things to consider when buying a Foam Roller:
Size and Shape
There are many different sizes of foam rollers on the market. The most common ones are long round cylinders, but you can buy them in many other sizes and shapes.
Full-size rollers measure around 36″ length x 6″ diameter. They’re perfect for Pilates exercises where you lie on the roller with it positioned vertically along the spine, such as Dead Bug or Toe Taps.
If you’re looking for a more portable roller, there are shorter ones (typically 18″ or 12″ length x 6″ diameter). They’re ideal for targeting more precise areas such as calves, IT bands or glutes.
A smaller diameter roller — typically 4″ — is lower to the floor and therefore more stable. A smaller roller is ideal for users with poor balance.
Ridges or Bumps
If you’re buying a roller for self-massage, ones with ridges, bumps or points can provide a deeper penetrating massage that breaks up fascia in even the most tight, compact areas.