Working out is mandatory for boosting your health and building muscle, but keeping your muscles safe is equally as important. The latter is a lot easier when you set aside time pre- or post-training session to stretch and repair sore and tired muscles, which become damaged with tiny tears after excessive use. And while stretching is a good recovery method for increasing flexibility and soothing tight muscles, there’s a more effective way to tackle knots and target points of tension: foam rolling.
Foam rolling—repeatedly and gently rolling muscles over a foam cylinder, a roller massager, sticks, or balls with varying sizes and densities—is reported to help increase flexibility, enhance recovery, and lower muscle pain and tension. In addition to immediate relief, targeting and stimulating muscles can also provide long-term benefits. Studies show a positive correlation to increased athletic performances such as power, strength, agility, and balance. .. In other words, use foam rolling regularly as part of your fitness routine, and you might even see quicker gains and faster recovery times because of it.
There are many kinds of foam rollers to choose from, such as those made of lightweight EVA foam or those containing trigger-point ridges—just pick a model that best fits your body and needs. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 of the best foam rollers for muscle soreness and recovery.