Just had a great workout? Well, you’ll want to do it all over again, and one of the best ways to ensure a successful routine tomorrow is by using a recovery device like a foam roller today. Taking a few minutes with one of these right after you’ve hit the weights can help curb muscle soreness, making sure you’re ready to go again tomorrow.
How it works and how much it helps depends on your device—and workout—of choice, but the long and short of it is this: When you exercise hard, you create small tears in your muscles. These tiny breaks can take some time to repair and grow back stronger, creating delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the interim. Rollers, if used right after a high intensity workout, can help to ease the pain.
They can even help warm your body up before your next training session. Whatever your exercise goals, here are a few rollers that will help you kick your regimen up a notch.
1. Epitomie Fitness Vibra Vibrating Foam Roller
The Vibra foam roller from Epitomie Fitness is no one-trick pony. In fact, it has four different massage intensities, from 900 to 3600 revolutions per minute. Power it up, select your level of choice via an LED screen at one end of the device, and you’re off—just make sure it’s charged up beforehand. Vibra has four hours of battery life, more than enough to get you through your rollout, but the LED panel also shows what charge percentage you’re at just in case. The roller’s many indentations, meanwhile, are designed to dig in and work your muscles out even further.
Pros: There are plenty of massaging options to choose from.
Cons: Beginners may have a harder time navigating which frequency best suits them.
2. Monument Vibrating Foam Roller
This foam roller has virtually all the bells and whistles you’ll need for a successful rollout. For one, it has not one but three different frequencies to choose from, depending on whether you’re planning on (or just had) a high- or low-intensity exercise. For another, its design features a series of knobs that help to drive the massage vibrations into your muscles. A groove in the center is another plus, as it can both fit your spine and help reduce tension in your Achilles tendon.
Pros: The C-shaped curve helps isolate spots that other rollers can’t.
Cons: You’ll have to remember to recharge it.
3. Kingsfield Spark Vibrating Foam Roller
Kingsfield’s Spark roller comes with not one but four different levels of massaging—from 1,200 revolutions per minute to a whopping 3,800. Lowest level isn’t getting all the knots out? Try two or three or even level four, the last of which will help you roll out even after demanding exercises. Plus, a bulkier, denser design means that Spark won’t wear out as quickly as some other rollers.
Pros: You’re bound to find a massage option here that works for you and your routine.
Cons: No handle and a bulkier size make it less convenient for travel.
4. Moji Heated Foam Roller
Moji’s heated foam roller is a great entry point for first timers. Snap it apart, pop it in the microwave and you’re good to go for your warm up (or cool down) for up to 30 minutes. Use it to massage any part of your body that’s feeling sore to help alleviate the pain. If the roller itself isn’t targeting your weary limbs the way you want it to, the kit also comes with large and small heated massage balls that can further target aching joints. Throw it all in Moji’s thermal bag—which will keep any heated accoutrements warm for up to 90 minutes—and you’re good to go.
Pros: A comprehensive set with plenty of options for both warmup and recovery.
Cons: Some may want a roller with multiple massage frequencies to choose from.