I decided to review the EPE, EVA and Molded foam roller for muscles together because they’re all quite similar. You can buy them in a variety of lengths and sizes, the most common being 6″ X 36″. They’re relatively inexpensive and a great introduction to the practice of self-myofascial release. If you’re finding that you begin rolling on a daily basis you’ll quickly notice all three of these options lose shape very quickly.
EPE rollers are made out of Polyethylene which is used in a variety of manufactured goods. It breaks down rather quickly, and if used consistently enough could be deformed in as little as a month (depending on your size, weight and usage of course). EVA foam roller is a fairly durable foam which allows it to keep it’s shape for a longer period of time relative to EPE. They have a glossy finish and are more aesthetically appealing than their cheaper cousins. Molded rollers are made of expanded polypropylene, which is a little more rigid and heavy duty than either the EPE or EVA. Molded foam is a newer material being used in the industry. If you’re a larger individual, these will tend to work better than their counterparts because they won’t deform as much during their day to day usage.
It’s definitely for the more advanced users, or those who have dense muscle mass and a high tolerance to pain. It’s one of the most expensive rollers on the market, but will outlast most of them as well. A key distinction is the square grooves which were designed to feel more like a massage than a conventional roller could achieve. This has added value for some applications including targeting your feet and your hips. However, I find the square grooves to be a little excessive on larger areas such as your hamstring or quadriceps. It’s sold in three sizes, standard, compact and extra compact.
Provides a middle ground between the ridges that the rumble extra firm foam roller provides and the smoothness that a conventional roller offers. The “grid” surface varies over the length of it, which helps to target smaller hard to reach areas such as your hips. Created by Trigger Point Performance Therapy, it’s quickly become one of the most popular models on the market. Trigger Point has a whole line of massage therapy tools, but the Grid is definitely they’re claim to fame, and continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the industry. It’s sold in a variety of sizes ranging from a conventional 6″ X 36″ down to a 5″ X 5.5″ mini roller suitable for traveling.
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