Vibrating foam rollers before and after a workout.
I HATE using foam rollers – and unfortunately, I am just the person to whom trainers and physical therapists recommend them. For those of you who are loose like Gumby, you have probably never experienced the exquisite pain of turning onto your side, placing a roller just above your knee and using your body weight and gravity to create pressure and release facia and muscles as you move over the roller up to your hip. I am assured that it hurts less the more often you roll. You see the problem, right? Why would you choose to do something that hurts this much – more often?!
I want the relief from muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation and to earn a greater range of motion and flexibility. I want the myofascial release and my IT bands to be loose. A friend recommends the new, vibrating foam rollers. The gentle vibrating movement may help the loosening process, and they are said to make the rolling experience much less painful – note that no one claims that it is pleasurable. Proponents of the new vibrating rollers say that people actually use them because they can bear to do so.
The Mayo Clinic offers the case for using a foam roller.
“Discover foam roller self-massage.
They cost as little as $10 and come in many lengths and densities. A foam roller is an easy and convenient way to release tension in muscles and connective tissue, which helps increase flexibility and improve mobility.
For beginners, a medium foam roller may be most comfortable.”
“Advocates say that as little as 15 minutes a day of whole-body vibration three times a week may aid weight loss, burn fat, improve flexibility, enhance blood flow, reduce muscle soreness after exercise, build strength and decrease the stress hormone cortisol.”
This eight-speed pulse vibrating rechargeable foam roller gets great reviews because it adjusts to intensity of vibration which suits you best. You may find you want greater intensity on one muscle group and less on another. The foam is called medium density, so you get some softness, but enough resistance to persuade your muscles and facia to release. It has an automatic timer in case you get so relaxed that you forget to roll off. It is rechargeable and stays charged for ten hours. 11” x 5.5”, 2.97 LBS. CubeFit pulse vibrating foam roller. $79
If you prefer a smoother surface on your roller, this Grid Vibe vibrating foam roller has four speeds and is rechargeable. 12.13 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches. 3.31 Pounds $52.07
If you want to try a simple foam roller before you invest in its vibrating cousins, AmazonBasics offers a high-density, massage, muscle recovery, round foam roller in 12″, 18″, 24″, 36″ lengths. Basic foam roller in seven colors. From $10.49 to $23.00.
To relieve tightness in small groups of targeted muscles (space between my shoulder blades – I am looking at you!) or for travel (when there was travel) this vibrating massage ball offers four levels of pulse. It weighs .66 of a pound and is 3.75” in diameter. Vibrating massage ball. $49.99
Here is an earlier ASE article on non-vibrating foam rollers.