Recommendations for Foam Rollers & Massage Tools (Updated)

With so many different foam rollers and massage tools out on the market today, we have narrowed it down to which one's work the best and will hold up well to a lot of use. We have included different density models, shapes & sizes, as well as other effective massage tools because it is important to have a variety on hand. We have tested these extensively over the years with our athletes and clients. To learn more about foam rolling and self massage, click here. 

A traditional foam roller offers simplicity in design, is economical and practical to use, while others offer nubs and grid like patterns that allow you to massage areas with more effectiveness. Foam rollers are not the only way to self massage so we included a few other tools for greater precision and a more effective massage.

Remember that foam rolling and self massage is just one step in correcting imbalances, rehabbing an injury, increasing flexibility or aiding in recovery. Corrective exercise with flexibility & mobility training, as well as a strength & conditioning component will need to be integrated into your training program to ensure that you are fully addressing any issues that you may have and that you are taken full advantage of the reduced tension and adhesions in those tissues.

The basic massage tools that we recommend all of our clients to purchase are:

  1. PB High Density Foam Roller 3ft

  2. TP MB5 Massage Ball and or the Supernova 2.0 Ball 5inch.

  3. 2 Lacrosse Ball's

We recommend that you not only buy one model or type but to purchase a few varieties for better targeting. It's also a good idea to have a few extra to travel with, leave at work or in your vehicle. 

The convenice of self massage is hard to beat, however, a good set of hands will always out perform any massage tool. It is highly recommended that you integrate daily self massage with a qualified sports massage therapist from time to time or as often as possible. 

PB High Density Foam Roller Black - This is a simple and effective foam roller that will hold up to a lot of use. You may find cheaper versions or one's that look similar but the density won't hold up well over time, eventually softening in the center, making the foam roller ineffective.

Lacrosse Balls - Massage balls are great for getting deeper into areas and for massaging the arches of your feet. There are a lot of choices out there but the best one's and most reasonably priced are simple Lacrosse Balls. If you find these a bit hard, you can begin with a thicker sock on.

Powerdot is a FDA cleared, wearable app-based electrical muscle stimulator. With just a tap to your screen, select the muscle group you want to target to help with recover and tissue quality.

Thumper Mini Pro 2 - The Mini Pro 2 is a professional strength percussive massager that reachers deeper through all fascial layers. This is great for the bigger build person who has neck or upper back tension. Most can use this anywhere on the body with little effort. The head has some weight to it which allows for a more effective massage. I have an older model that is about 18 years old and still works like new and with 2 herniated discs in my neck from a mountain bike accident, this has helped me out greatly from time to time, especially after another good spill. They also sell the Thumper Sport Massager which is $60 less.

Supernova 2.0 Ball - An alternative to traditional foam rollers and massage balls, with an improved nylon frame construction, grip-strong TPE tread, and a groove pattern that allows for a more beneficial massage and tissue therapy. Great for the hamstrings, rhomboids, foot, and everything else. The ball is 4.72 inches in diameter and harder then the TP MB5 and a bit heavier.

TP Quadballer - This is denser than most foam rollers out there and the contour of it allows you to really manipulate the tissues, especial in the areas of the quads and calves. This is also lower to the ground, allowing you to take some pressure off of your arms as you self massage.

The MobilityWOD Gemini is one of the first scientifically engineered, naturally contoured mobility tools made specifically for targeting the T-spine and other difficult trigger points.

Low Density Foam Roller - This is a softer Foam Roller that is great for those tired and sore muscles or very tender areas that a much harder foam roller would not be beneficial on. This is also good for anyone new to foam rolling and self massage because chances are your muscles will be a bit more tender in the beginning. This model will hold up better then most less denser versions but will still dent in some.

TP MB5 Massage Ball - This 5-Inch ball is dense enough to hold up well to a lot of pressure and use, and works great to reach areas of your hips, hamstrings, rhomboids and chest.

The Grid Foam Roller X - This is twice as firm as the original Grid Foam Roller above. This becomes an essential piece to own as you progress with self massage. Be sure to purchase the X Extra Firm 13 inch model.

The GRID Foam Roller - The GRID Foam Roller is an excellent choice and will hold up well over time, even with heavy use. We like this model for travel because the center is cut out and you can easily fit gear or clothing inside it for streamlined packing without the added bulk of a traditional foam roller. This roller uses a grid pattern of varying densities to help target specific areas better than a traditional foam roller. You can purchase both the 12 inch for travel & the 26 inch length for home use. -

Rumble Roller Blue - The Rumble Roller contains specially designed bumps that are firm but flexible. These bumps continuously need the contours of your body and helps pull soft tissue in multiple directions. The "Blue" model is the Original and the "Black" model is much denser. You don't want this to be the only model you have so purchase the Grid Foam Roller or High & Low Density foam rollers as well..