The Best Foam Rollers For Beginners
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Foam rolling while relatively new in the grand scheme of things, is certainly a exercise/massage trend that is here to stay. Foam rolling offers too many health benefits to be ignored. Plus they are very easy and you can be self reliant with them. Meaning, you don’t need a second person to help massage your back for example. With a foam roller, you can get every muscles on your body without over exerting yourself.
But choosing a roller from the hundreds available can be a difficult task. Especially if you are a newcomer. This is why we decided to put together this guide to buying the best foam rollers for beginners.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 Qualities To Consider When Buying A Foam Roller For The First Time
- 2 The Best Combination Full Body Foam Roller
- 3 Best Back Foam Roller For Beginners
- 4 Basic Foam Rolling For Beginners
Qualities To Consider When Buying A Foam Roller For The First Time
- Density – This is how hard the roller is to touch/feel. As a general rule, a black roller means it is very dense, while white is the softer end. As a beginner, I don’t recommend you take on a dense black roller immediately. A very dense roller is so hard it will bruise you as a beginner. Once your body is used to the feeling and you become better at rolling, then I recommend you go to a more dense roller.
- Diameter of the roller matters. Most rollers will be in the 5 to 6 inch diameter category. But there are some which fall into the 3-4 ” range. This 3-4″ range is for a more of a deep targeted massage. While this sounds wonderful, as a beginner I would wait until you have got the hang of rolling. No need to go in causing more problems then you initially started with.
- Varying Sizes – Don’t think buying one roller will solve all your muscle related injuries, strains and tension relief. While some foam rollers are better suited to relieving back pain compared to an overall myofascial release type of roller. It may be that you need to invest in 2 or even 3 rollers to work the complete body. Buy a high quality roller and you will get your mileage out of it.
- Smooth Or Grid/Texture – Much like the density, as a beginner a smooth roller may be better suited. While a grid/texture type of foam roller offers an amazing deep tissue massage, the benefits of a even smooth softer roller are better suited to beginners.
The Best Combination Full Body Foam Roller
Perfect For The Beginner Wanting To Get Started
As I mentioned earlier, to do a complete body rub down with a foam roller. You better be prepared to buy at least 2 rollers. This is where the Freory 3 in 1 foam roller kit comes into its own. At an incredible price, you get 3 quality foam rollers well suited to beginners. In particular the grey roller which is about 5.5″ in diameter.
The grey is perhaps more dense than what I would normally recommend for a complete beginner that is taking up exercise for the first time. However, the Freory 3 in 1 is too good value for money not to mention.
Being a step up from white, and not black, the grey outer roller would have a a medium density. What I like about this particular roller (all being 18″ in length) is that it is great for tackling those large muscle groups in one hit.
The inner blue foam is less dense and great for working the more sensitive areas like the lower back and up the side of your body. This roller offers enough pressure that you can definitely feel it when resting your neck on it for example. But it won’t be that pressure where it hurts too much.
Lastly is the thin and hard roller which is often used on the legs as well to try reduce cellulite. A hard roller like this can assist in breaking down adhesions in the fascia to reduce the dimpling effect. Being a thinner roller, it is also good for getting in to reduce stiff neck pain and associated trigger points.
Overall, the Freory is a great value for money foam roller that the beginner could pick up and start using immediately. All three rollers comes neatly packed inside each other and take up next to no room. Which is great for packing it up for gym/sport events.
Best Back Foam Roller For Beginners
Fitness Harmony Low Density/High Density Textured Twin Pack
Before I get into the stand alone foam rollers, I wanted to mention this twin pack. I have been recommending this roller for people that suffer back pain and have been getting good feedback. So I couldn’t resist but bring it up again here. Why?. Because it’s also a great first choice beginners foam roller.
This is only a 2 pack compared to the 3 pack of the Freory. But I believe the Fitness Harmony pink roller to be slightly better for beginners to get started with. The only downside in comparison is the Freory rollers are longer at 18 inches compared to the 13 inches of the Fitness Harmony rollers.
But where the Fitness Harmony really shines is further on down the track. Once you have built up a resistance to foam rolling and need something with a little more oomph, bring out the black textured beast. This things packs some punch, so do not start with this bad boy. Begin the rolling with the pink roller and become use to the methods. Then and only then upgrade to a more dense and textured roller like the included black one.
Overall, you get great value with the Fitness Harmony twin pack rollers. Best part is the pink roller is actually low density and soft enough for beginners to start with immediately. It’s not a false low density that is too firm. This is the real deal and one heck of one at the same time. The pink roller is great for lower back pain workouts. Enjoy.
The Best Low Density Foam Roller
Rehabilitation Advantage White Circular Foam Roller Review
While foam rollers are used to remove knots and offer deep tissue massage, they are also used in general exercise. This is often a less intense session workout session that leaves you with sore muscles. A soft low density foam roller like the Rehabilitation Advantage is a great place to start for beginners.
This kind of foam roller will feel soft to sit on, but can apply enough pressure to do the job. That is without you screaming in pain from which a high density foam roller may cause on your first few attempts.
This white (White is low density more often than not) foam roller is the perfect thickness for beginning a rolling workout. That is it is 6 inches in diameter, which won’t apply too much pressure that it hurts.
Being a rather long roller (36 inches), it will be an ideal back foam roller. By putting it vertically up and down your back rather than horizontally you will be able to safely roll out those hard to reach lower back muscles. As it is a lower density foam roller, it won’t be too rough on the lower back and as that part of your back has no rib support. It’s best to play it safe and use a softer tool for the job.
But becasue it is a long foam roller, you can also use it on your larger muscles like the quads, shoulders and even on the neck while laying on your back/side. Overall its a pretty good massage tool for working out all sorts of body kinks. While you may be thinking ‘it’s a low density roller, it won’t do anything’. Think again, I can assure you that once you roll your body weight on this tool you will notice it there. Plus you won’t be screaming out in pain causing all sorts of bruising to your body. Remember, start soft and work your way up to tools like the ‘Rumble Roller‘.
Basic Foam Rolling For Beginners
This is one of the better videos showing the beginner the basics in foam rolling. I hope you fins this beneficial once you have bought the perfect foam roller for your needs.
2 thoughts on “The Best Foam Rollers For Beginners”
Thank you for your very comprehensive and thorough explanation(s). I am NOT an athlete but a 60-year-old woman who, somehow, got IT band syndrome. After 30 PT visits (all that my insurance would cover) and having the therapists massage me using the stick one, I’m now on my own. Before I read this article, I bought the black, circular foam roller (by Rehabilitation Advantage) on Amazon because the Seller said the only difference between the black and white was an aesthetic one. But it hurt so much to use and, as your article pointed out, probably because the black ones are more dense (and I’m a beginner). So I watched YouTube videos (and the one above is one of the better ones) and googled “best foam roller for IT band syndrome” and found this site. I’m going to now get the white one. Thanks again!
Hi Linda, typically black is more dense and white is softer. Most manufacturers follow this guideline. I hope you find the white one works out well for you. If you can contact your therapist again, ask them for the brand they used and see if you can get your hands on one. It band syndrome is certainly not fun, so I do hope you find some relief from this foam roller. Thanks for leaving your nice comment.