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Foam rollers are the poor man's massage therapist, if you're like me and need some massage on areas of the body every single day they're a godsend, if you can afford to have a massage every day you won't need one but most people can't. Foam rollers are designed to roll out knots and stretch the muscles and fascia in a variety of areas to give relief from painful symptoms. I've used them for years and I've graduated up to this one recently.
When you first start foam rolling it can be eye wateringly painful, the beginners roller is the white one which is softer than the rest and the foam isn't as densely packed so it doesn't roll the muscles as hard as some others. The next one up is like the white one with packed foam but it's smaller holes in it and light blue so it's firmer and that's the one I've been using until recently I looked at it and realised it had a large dent in the middle and was no longer any use. That roller was supposed to be strong enough not to do that but as I use mine daily for lots of areas it's considered a heavy workload and naturally it got ruined within a fairly short space of time. Disappointed it had happened and realising there was no point in buying another one the same I started searching for a stronger, harder roller. In other countries they have a black one that's more solid and can stand up to this kind of use but here in the U.K I couldn't get hold of that one so this EVA one caught my eye.
The 66Fit EVA foam roller is made from ethylene vinyl acetate which is super high density heat sealed foam designed to resist moisture and bacteria. It has a soft feel to the textured covering but is very solid inside and is perfect for repetitive use which is exactly what I was looking for. I bought the 15cm x 45cm version because I don't have a huge amount of space to use it in but you can buy one that's twice the length if you do have room for it and want to use it to lay on and do exercises. It cost me £19.50 through Amazon with free delivery but you can also buy direct from the seller's website at www.physiosupplies.com. At the time of writing the item is out of stock on Amazon but will be available elsewhere if you search. The price is good at only £5 more than the middle strength light blue one.
Foam rollers are to be used on the floor and you can roll out the muscles of your legs (all areas, but IT bands down the side are really good to hit with a foam roller), your back, your hips, your lats along the sides of the ribcage and around the sit bones where a collection of muscles and ligaments can all get snagged up with each other. To roll areas you place yourself on the roller with controlled posture so no slouching, and let the roller sink into muscles before rolling down them slowly. If you hit painful areas you slowly roll in short strokes over that area until the pain decreases then move on. Anyone who gets a really tight upper back these are brilliant for releasing that and I always hear lots of pops and crunches when I roll mine.
As for this particular roller, as it's so firm it's not for beginners or for people who don't want to employ the "no pain, no gain" routine. It's alot harder than the white or light blue ones and if you're just starting out foam rolling my advice is get one of those first to see if you can stand the pain from them and make a bit of headway on your muscles with those before moving onto this one. I'm an old hand at foam rolling and have merrily ruined about 4 white foam rollers and one of the light blue ones over the years and I found when I first started the white one was agony but over time my muscles got used to it and I moved up slowly. The first time I used this EVA one it reminded me of the early days because of how much it hurt but it was a good pain if you see what I mean, it meant it was actually doing some good and I was really pleased with how firm it is.
The 45cm length means it can be used in most rooms with a bit of floor space and will fit most people as long as you aren't really wide! If you feel yourself moving out towards the edge just stop and place yourself back in the middle or the roller can tip to the side. If you have no underlying conditions you can expect the roller to get rid of alot of knots and keep them out but I only get short term relief as I have painful hypermobile joints which is why I have to use mine so often. For the hips I advise using a tennis ball on individual knots first then rolling over them with the foam roller to smooth the tissue out as the roller by itself isn't really small enough to get right into the muscles in this area. Also stay away from your lower ribs, sternum and coccyx or you could break them.
I'm very pleased with how hard this foam roller is and anticipate it lasting longer than the others, it won't last forever but if it can maintain its shape and firmness for a while then it's money well spent for me. It does hurt, I won't lie, but it does help too. It's easy to wipe down if you need to and the cushioned exterior makes it more comfortable than it would have been without. I'm giving it a full 5 stars and think it's good value for money and a very good design.