I have a small army of different types of foam rollers.  I have soft ones, round ones, hard ones, spikey ones, ones that vibrate, and ones that fit in a suitcase.  In this article we are going to go through all of the different types of foam rollers.  I will share with you what I liked and disliked about each roller so that you can choose the one that is right for you!


Types of Foam Rollers for All Needs

Soft Roller: If you have never used any type of foam roller before, then this is the one for you.  A foam roller that is completely foam, and does not have a PVC pipe in the middle or any foam spikes will do the trick.  This is the first foam roller I used, and it worked great.  But, eventually, I did want something more firm.

Ball Foam Roller:  If you really want to get into your shoulders or your glutes, this one is a must!  This ball really provides extra pressure for certain body parts that are just a little tough to get with a cylindrical roller.

Firm Roller:  I like this one better than the soft roller, which I don’t use anymore because it just doesn’t provide enough pressure for me.  If I didn’t have a vibrating foam roller, this is the one I would use all of the time!

Spiky Foam Roller with Spine Channel.  I also really really love my spiky roller for two reasons: my shoulders and lower back.  This roller has a scoop cut out of the middle.  This is where your spine safely goes.  This allows you to roll out the muscle just on either side of your spine. 

Massage Stick:  This type of roller is quite firm, and fits in a suitcase!  I like this roller because I don’t have to get down on the floor to use it!  You can sit on the couch or in a chair and roll out your legs and shoulders.  However, it can be tough to get your shoulders.

Spiky Massage Stick.  I do not like this one.  It is very firm.  I bruised myself the first time I used it.  I had little polka dots bruised up and down my legs. No thanks!

Vibrating Foam Roller.  Ok, so this one is odd!  But I love it!  In my opinion, it is a totally worth it investment for an amateur athlete who wants to get more out of foam rolling.  I bought it after reading Tom Brady’s TB12 book.  I hated the book, but he kept talking about using certain massage methods to increase blood flow and activate muscles.  Of course, I do not have my own personal masseuse and trainer like Tom Brady, but these therapies can be mimicked with a vibrating foam roller.  I’m not gonna lie, I love it.  I try to use it everyday.  I use it to warm up and activate muscles as well as a recovery exercise.  I take it with us on climbing and snowboarding trips.  If I could only have one foam roller, this would be it.


Where you are in your fitness and extreme sport journey will help determine which type of foam roller will fit your needs.  If you have never foam roller before, I highly recommend starting with a softer roller.  If you have been foal rolling with a soft roller for a bit, then I highly recommend that you give a more firm roller a shot!  If you have been using a firmer roller for a while, then try treating yourself to a vibrating foam roller.  Check them out so you can reap the most benefits of muscle activation and recovery!


How to Use a Foam Roller

In this video I demonstrate all of the ways that I use a foam roller to aid in muscle recovery.

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