Foam rolling can be an excellent way to release tension in tired, sore muscles.
Foam rollers also open up a range of exercise options in Matwork classes, offering an unstable base of support for proprioceptive and core stabilization work for clients of all levels and ranges of ability.
But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right foam roller for your needs? Below we offer a list of rollers, and suggestions for ideal use.
The relatively soft density of this foam roller makes it ideal for myofascial release techniques. When going over bony prominences such as the hip joints and knees, firmer surfaces can put too much pressure throughout these regions, leading to pain and increased tension. A soft foam roller is often better suited to working on these areas. Though softer in density, this foam roller is still firm enough to lie on supine, and can be used as a proprioceptive tool in exercises that complement Pilates Matwork quite well.
A more traditional style of foam roller, the Deluxe offers a higher density material that applies more pressure throughout the bulky tissue of the body, making it effective for myofascial release in the quads, calves and muscular tissue.
Higher density material is quite robust. From a studio perspective, wear and tear is not as aggressive, so the roller can take a lot of whole body weight work and still keep its shape quite well. From an exercise perspective, the higher density means that the roller is particularly suited to whole bodyweight movement patterns and balancing tasks.
The benefit of this foam roller is its portability, making it ideal for home use, as well as studio use. Because of its length, it’s not well-suited to supine exercises, but is more suited to transverse and crossways exercises. The high density material is ideal for deeper muscle compression.
This is an excellent tool for introducing a small base of support and balance control exercises without the extra instability of a full foam roller, making ideal for beginner client workouts or rehabilitation. Because of the more stable base, this roller is ideal for pivoting and point-loading, and really scouring the tissues for myofascial release.
The perfect travel companion, this foam roller can complement an on-the-road fitness regimen. The unstable base of support makes it a good choice for core stabilization exercises and proprioceptive training, and like the soft Foam Roller, the surface is quite supple and more forgiving on the bony prominences of the body.
More a tool for myofascial release than exercise, the massage points on this foam roller allow for point-loading, making it a good fit for trigger point therapy. The rows of points make it great for rolling through a series of rotations to release tension in the muscles, but the softer foam density means it still moves comfortably over bony prominences. This foam roller also separates into two 12″ inch pieces for increased rolling options.