Foam Rollers

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Foam Roller
Are your muscles tired, aching and sore after getting a good workout? You may want to find a way to ease the discomfort you feel, post-workout. A foam roller can help relieve the pain you feel and be a great pre and post-workout tool. If you are thinking about how to prevent muscle soreness after your workout, read on to find out how a foam roller might be of good use to you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are, in a sense, specific “knots” in your muscles that need to be untangled. You would know that the foam roller has targeted your trigger point if you wince when it passes that area. Those trigger points are the tightened part of your muscles that refer pain. Pain referral means that when a particular place in your body is pressed, the aching is radiated or felt in another area. Imagine squeezing a balloon where another part starts to enlarge because of the pressure exerted to another region. Freeing your trigger points would let you enjoy your workout even more and can also relieve you of some of the soreness you feel after the exercises.

How does the foam roller work?
The foam roller eases your muscles by applying constant and gentle pressure to them. The massage provides our muscle tissues the deep compression it needs to break up or relax their tightness and the adhesions between muscle layers and their surroundings. If you have experience in tenderising meat before by applying pressure to it, that’s how you’re also required to do it with your muscles. You are returning it to its soft and supple natural state. Deep compression also allows normal blood flow and restoration of your healthy tissues. Muscle tissues that are not taken care of will experience loss of flexibility, adhesion, and result in painful movement.

When should I foam roll?
Generally, foam rolling is recommended whenever you feel tightness in any area of your body. However, it is typically done in conjunction with any exercise. You can foam roll before and after your workout and even incorporate it into your routines. Foam rolling can also be done in the morning when you feel your muscles tighten due to the hours locking your body to one position and inactivity during sleeping. You can also employ the help of a foam roller when you feel soreness or aches through your body after a long day at work.

Which areas of my body should I foam roll?
Therapists acknowledge that you should use a foam roller on one muscle group at one time. Recommended areas that need foam rolling are the front and back of your thighs and legs, your buttocks, lower and upper back, and shoulders. These are the areas of your body that you frequently use daily through your everyday activities like walking, running, opening and closing doors, handling heavy objects, etc. You can also use foam rollers to your calves, feet, forearms, and neck.

How long should I use a foam roll?
It takes about 20 to 30 seconds for your muscle to relax. For very tight muscles, it may even be longer. The key is to relax and use the foam roller until you feel that your muscles are reacting to the foam roller. Using the foam roller for about 1 to 5 minutes on each muscle group could effectively release the tension, and you can move on to another part of your body.

What can foam rolling do for me?
Foam rolling is classified as an SMR technique or a self-massage to release muscle tension. It can help relieve muscle tightness, inflammation, and improve your joint’s range of movement. Using a foam roller during warm-up or cool-down exercises can significantly benefit the effectiveness of your workout. The advantages of foam rollers can vary from person to person, but its general effects are discussed below.

Muscle Pain Relief

A study of eight male participants who used a foam roller for 20 minutes immediately after exercise found that it reduced the muscle soreness they feel every time they finish working out.

We sometimes overuse or injure our muscle tissues due to the intensity of our daily activities. Even our inactivity could cause them to shorten or reduce their mobility. Using a foam roller solves this problem by easing our muscle’s soreness and reducing its inflammation. Foam rollers allow built-up scar tissues to be broken up and simultaneously increase blood circulation to our muscular tissues, enabling more nutrients and oxygen to enter our muscles. This then results in our muscles feeling better.

Increased Range of Motion

Weak mobility is often the result of the shortening of your muscles that in turn causes the formation of muscular trigger points or knots. Shortened muscles obviously decrease your range of movement, while trigger points cause you pain and muscular fatigue. Foam rolling induces static stretching of your muscles that returns it to its natural form, allowing you to increase your range of motion and ease the pain.

Back Pain Relief

As a foam roller is very beneficial in relieving the stresses in your muscles, it does well in easing pressure from your back too. Back pain can be due to poor posture, gravity, and other external influences that can put too much strain on your lower back. When exercising using a foam roller for your back, make sure that you are placing it vertically to align with your spine. Don’t roll on your back with the foam roller with it positioned horizontally against it as this would cause you to arch and further strain it.

Improved Blood and Oxygen Circulation

When our muscle tissues become too tight, it restricts the flow of blood in and out of our muscles, limiting oxygen and nutrients to the areas. Foam rollers unbind this tension and allow more space for our blood to enter and deliver sufficient oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. Having enough blood levels, oxygen, and nutrients circulating throughout our body improves our general wellbeing and helps us cope more efficiently with the everyday stresses we subject our bodies to.


Self-massage with foam rollers can be another way to reduce stress. Taking the time to soften and release tense muscles gently can help you be in a state of relaxation and comfort. There’s never been a more soothing way to calm your bodyaches than to relieve yourself of some of the constrictions you feel within your body. Additionally, a foam roller can be an excellent post-workout therapy for reducing strains created by the repeated process of subjecting your muscles to constant resistance. When you use a foam roller after any physical activity, it helps bring down your cortisol, which can provide a gentle and relaxing self-massage.

What types of foam rollers can I use?
There are several types of foam rollers, each of which has different functions and applications. Here are some of them to get you acquainted and to better guide you in choosing what type of roller you should use.

Smooth Foam Roller

This is the least painful out of all types of foam rollers and is ideal for first-time users. They are soft and are made of low-density foam so they can provide a more relaxing self-massage. Smooth rollers are the foam rollers to choose when you want to use it for exercise classes or after an intense workout and your muscles are sore.

Textured Foam Roller

These are the foam rollers that mimic the hands of your masseuse as there are ridges, knobs, or balls that can precisely target the knots of your muscles. Different types of textures of the foam rollers are offered for varying pressures to be applied. The bumps created by textured foam rollers intensify the massage effect and can target multiple knots in the same area. This is recommended for more advanced users that are used to constant medium to high pressures on their muscles.

Short Foam Roller

These rollers are about half the average length of the regular foam rollers since it is designed for convenience when massaging intricate curves of your body like your shoulders or calves. They are easy to manoeuvre and a little unwieldy. They are also easier to store because of their reduced length.

Vibrating Foam Roller

Vibrating foam rollers provide more effectiveness as a deep tissue massager due to its vibration technology. It minimises the pain you feel, but it also performs deep tissue massage using textured foam rollers that produce vibration. You can also spend less time using the foam roller as it relaxes your muscles rapidly than the typical ones. However, it is much pricey than the other types but can give you more edge in your foam rolling experience.