How to Choose a Foam Roller


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This post is part 2 in a 4-part series about Muscle Maintenance. Follow these links for the complete series.

Part 1: Muscle Maintenance: An Often Overlooked Key to Performance

Part 3: How to Use a Foam Roller

Part 4: A Brief Intro to Trigger Point Release


Getting into the habit of foam rolling will produce huge benefits for your performance and recovery. Using any of the SKLZ Barrel Rollers will produce results, though you’ll find that different models are best for different self-massage needs.

It wasn’t that long ago that foam rollers came in one density, one size, and one color (white). These days, foam rollers come in a variety of sizes and colors, but the real innovation, spearheaded by SKLZ, has come with the varying degrees of density and firmness of the SKLZ Barrel Rollers.

Foam rolling with a product of any density will provide some benefits. You’ll want, however, to choose the best product depending on your experience level and needs.

During the process of muscle maintenance, your body will adapt and adjust to the process of using a foam roller. If you are just adding foam rolling to your training routine, the soft or firm rollers likely will be your best options. These two Barrel Rollers likely will be the best fit if you are especially sore in certain areas such as the IT bands or glutes. The new extra-firm Barrel Roller is geared towards those muscles that require extra pressure during your muscle maintenance routine.

The new Travel Roller is a 12-inch barrel, the perfect size to slip into your backpack and take to practice, the gym, or while traveling on an airplane. The density has the same firmness as the SKLZ firm Barrel Roller.

Another option is the SKLZ Massage Bar, a 20-inch bar that provides deep tissue manipulation while stimulating active muscle recovery. The bar allows for more control over the amount of pressure that’s being applied to the soft tissue. However, some areas will require more pressure from your body weight and require more leverage.

Products Mentioned by Cody

Barrel RollersTravel RollerMassage Bar
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