Foam rollers for every body.
Love it or hate it, the foam roller is here to stay.
Foam rolling and roller massagers provide a host of benefits to a triathlete: increased flexibility, faster recovery, and decreased muscle soreness. These benefits can occur whether an athlete rolls for 5 seconds or 5 minutes, though longer durations tend to provide greater benefits says David Behm, PhD and human kinetics researcher at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
“Our foam rolling and roller massage studies have shown quite positive results with 2 repetitions of 60 seconds per muscle group. However, we had one study where we rolled for either 1 or 2 sets of 5 seconds or 10 seconds. Although the greater volume of rolling provided more flexibility, even the 1 repetition of 5 seconds still improved range of motion. So even a very short session is better than nothing at all.”
A quick and easy foam-rolling session can happen anytime, anywhere, thanks to a variety of tools available to athletes today. Up your foam-rolling game with these tools:
The classic foam roller from GoFit—available in 18, 24, and 36-inch lengths—is constructed of lightweight, high-density foam for self-massage. The smooth surface allows the user to quickly and effortlessly roll out problem areas from IT band to lower back.
$19.95-$35.99, multiple retailers
Those looking for a deeper foam-rolling experience might appreciate the RumbleRoller. The bumps along the surface act similarly to a massage therapist’s thumbs, allowing the user to focus on targeted areas of tightness and discomfort. The 31-inch length comes in two densities—original and extra firm.
Hot (and Cold) Roller
If you want to give your rolling an extra oomph, try the ThermaRoller, which combines the benefits self-massage with hot and cold therapy. The roller’s special sleeve contains a gel that can be placed in the freezer for 30 minutes or microwaved for 90 seconds for long-lasting heat and ice therapy while rolling.
Stash this mini version anywhere—your car’s backseat, an office drawer, your gym locker—for easy access.
Heading to a destination race this year? You’ll want to get your hands on The Morph, a collapsible, easy-to-pack foam roller. The new product, set to hit stores in February 2016, will squeeze easily into any suitcase or transition bag.
A “Stick” Up
Rolling on the office floor can relieve that morning’s tempo-work tightness, but isn’t quite the picture of professionalism. For those looking for a discreet way to self-massage at the office, The Stick—a thin, 24-inch rod—allows for a quick rolling session without leaving the desk chair.