What It Is: The Grid Foam Roller from TriggerPoint is a sturdy, foam-wrapped hollow roller that comes in bright colours, or even a bootcampy camouflage pattern, with three “density zones” designed to simulate a massaging hand. The tubular rows feel like fingers and thumbs. Those small, high squares act like fingertips of firm foam. And the low, flat areas maneuver along your body like a palm or forearm.
What You Might Not Know: Foam rolling is about kneading away muscle aches with self-massage. You lie on the roller and, you know, roll around on it. And research shows the fitness benefits of foam rolling extend beyond just getting the kinks out.
For example, foam rolling after activity may help improve range of motion and lessen muscle soreness beyond what stretching can do for you (that’s from a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise). Other research shows participants who used a foam roller before exercise reported less fatigue afterwards.
Feelin’ the Love: Working in the fitness industry, I’ve had occasion to use foam rollers now and again. My general reaction has always been: Meh. You see, I wasn’t all that into foam rollers until TriggerPoint. When I received this lovely pink Grid in the mail, however, everything changed.
TriggerPoint rollers feel sturdy and hold their shape over time, unlike traditional all-foam ones that can get squished and tend to look damaged and chewed up after a while. I use mine after every workout I do at home and sometimes just to roll away muscle stiffness, such as when I need a break from writing an article or blog post.
This product is especially good for loosening up calves, hips and thighs. I like it best for my back, though. The muscles in my mid/upper back can get to feeling like a brick wall. Five minutes of rolling over this product helps break up some of that tension. Apart from rolling, I also like to gently arch backwards over The Grid to counteract my slouchy in-front-of-the-computer posture. It makes a difference!
If I Could Change One Thing: I might have asked for a heavy-duty version of The Grid that can stand up to the nastiest of bunched-up muscle. But TriggerPoint has taken care of that with their recent unveiling of the 13-inch Grid X. Designed to bust through uber-stubborn tight spots, it’s twice as firm as the original Grid foam roller that I have.
Should You Buy It? Yes. Now you need to choose which one. The Grid foam rollers come in three lengths: five inches (adorable and good for stuffing in a gym bag or suitcase), 13 inches (this is the one I have) and 26 inches. I’ve also test-driven one of TriggerPoint’s newest products: a foam roller that vibrates.