Being physically active not only helps you stay in good shape but also has some great health benefits. Swimming, jogging, running, walking or working out are all great forms of exercise and a means to improve both your physical and mental health. However, to make the most out of your experience, all of these sports require some sort of a basic equipment. So, if you want to start working out, it is a good idea to get the basics. Here’s my tip – a foam roller. This versatile piece of equipment can be used in various ways for different purposes. It is easy to store, it is lightweight and affordable – which means anyone can buy it. Now let’s take a look at its different uses and benefits.
Low-density rollers – As a beginner, low-density foam rollers are your best choice because they are the softest and the lightest ones. Also, they are great for people who had a heavy workout a couple of days before and are experiencing sore muscles. These simple pieces of equipment are designed to work out the “knots” in your muscles, which are also called trigger points. In other words, they work just like a deep massage can be intense sometimes. Still, you shouldn’t feel so much pain – if you do though, maybe it is best to choose a softer density roller and work your way towards using a firmer one over time.
Firm foam rollers – These are the densest rollers on the market and are the hardest when you sit on them, which makes them perfect for people who want a deeper and more intense myofascial release as well as for athletes who need a quick recovery. Keep in mind, the firmer the foam – the more intense the workout will be. If you find that your muscles are becoming tighter because you are clenching from pain, opt for a lower density model.
Short foam rollers – You can find this type in both, soft and firm densities. Short foam rollers are half the length of the regular ones as they are designed to be used for a specific area. For example, using a short foam roller for working out the muscle under your left armpit is much comfortable than using a regular roller which can make you feel awkward and disconformable. Their small size makes these rollers easy to use and easy to store as well.
Bumpy foam rollers – These come with some kind of texture, such as wave-like ridges or bumpy knots embedded in the foam. Their main purpose is to help you quickly release those unpleasant “knots”. Usually, the shoulder area is the spot where most people feel tightness and pain as a result of them sitting and working on a computer every day.
Medium-density foam – If you still cannot decide which type of roller is the best choice for you, opt for a medium-density one. These models are perfect for all purposes – from simple stretching to more specific exercises.