Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Favorites: A Roller, a Ball and a Stick, Oh My! (Part 2 of 3)

Last Friday I began a 3 part series documenting my favorite massage tools.  I reviewed "The Stick" massager.  If you missed that post it is HERE.

Part 2: "The Grid Foam Roller" by Trigger Point Review

When I started experiencing hip tightness and pain with running, I first turned to Dr. Internet for advice.  At the time, I remember seeing this particular foam roller show up several times as a recommended item.  So I looked up the price.  $40!  For a 13 inch piece of plastic?  Not interested.

I continued to research other (cheaper) massage methods (including making my own version of "The Stick").  I began doing stretches, somatic exercises - even signed up for private Pilates classes.  Sometimes I crack myself up with the amount of money I will spend to try and avoid spending money. 

Then, one day, my husband and I visited a different local running store.  Of course, when I say "local" I mean 45 miles away in Jacksonville, FL.  Nonetheless, on my first trip to Jacksonville Running Company, I walked in and told the employee I has having hip pain while running.  He nodded, pulled out this baby and said - "Go ahead - try it!"   Within 30 seconds I looked up at my husband and said "I'm taking this home!"

 It felt that good!

When I stood up after a scant 2-3 minutes using the Grid Foam Roller,  I noticed a significant difference in my IT band tightness.

There are 2 things I almost never do while shopping:
1) Impulse buy
2) Pay full price

I did both that day and have never regretted it.  This foam roller just seems to get to my problem areas better than regular rollers.  It is stiffer and has less give.  It is also a more convenient size to take along than longer rollers. (I take this to every race to use beforehand)   I have not yet missed any extra length.  The 13 inch length has proved adequate for my use.

  • Provides a deep, effective massage to larger muscle groups like Quads and glutes.
  • Durable.  After 9 months of almost daily use, mine still looks brand new.
  • Compact as far as foam rollers go.
  • Can be used for core exercise as well.
  • Cost more than traditional foam rollers
  • As with all foam rollers, can be difficult to maneuver body into a position for most effective massage.

There are plenty of sites on the web to show you how to use this roller, but I wanted to demonstrate one exercise that I think is the most effective for hip/glute deep tissue massage. 
Turns out it was easier to have my 6 year old pose while I took the pic than vice versa!

If you are experiencing tightness in quads, hips, glutes, lower back or hamstrings and would like a pre-run alternative to stretching or a way to help relieve pain afterward I highly recommend this roller.  It is one of the best for all around massage - although not the best for my specific hip problems.  I'm reviewing that option next week!


  1. This is a great review! I have been thinking about getting one of these since my regular roller is now shot. Looks like it's worth the investment.

    Cute model too :))

    1. :) Thanks!
      Today was one of those days when I definitely loved my roller. I think I need to lay off the mileage increases for a bit!