Foam rollers. Oh, how we love ’em — and love to hate ’em. Talk about a complicated relationship: they hurt like a mo-fo for a few minutes and then — bam! — they make you and your muscles feel like a new person. Like an intense deep tissue massage that you can give yourself, foam rollers are great for reducing the risk of injury, improving range of motion and plain just loosening muscles that are oh-so tight. And if you’re looking to take your complicated relationship with foam rollers up a notch (more pain, yay!), we have the little orange tool for you. Say hello to Trigger Point Performance Therapy’s The GRID Foam Roller ($40).
It looks innocent enough, but don’t be fooled. See that fun little rectangular pattern? Oh, those lines and nodules are strategically designed to hit your trigger points, tiny knots that tend to develop in a muscle when they’re injured or overworked (and a common cause of joint pain). Meaning, they don’t just roll over your tightest spots, but they target them — intensely. Like to the point where you’re cursing out loud, eyes fully watering. But after a few minutes of straight-up (now tell me) torture, you feel fantastic.
Like we said, it’s complicated.
After a few sessions on The GRID, it was pretty hard to go back to my normal foam roller. Scratch that, it was actually easy to go back to my old one because it didn’t seem nearly as painful. BUT, it also didn’t seem nearly as effective. It was like foam-rolling, light. Kind of like drinking a can of cheap light beer after you’ve been sipping on stout. Or eating a store-bought tomato in January versus one from your grandma’s garden in August. It’s just not the same.
At 13 inches by 5 inches, this foam roller is much smaller than your usual foam roller, but it does its job, is easy to take here or there and can support up to 500 pounds. Good for everyone from the athlete to the everyday gal or guy who exercises, The Grid Foam Roller hurts so good.
Do you have a complicated relationship with your foam roller? Ever tried The Grid? Do you think it hurts so good, too? —Jenn