Foam roller?

Options
Hey all!

I've been wanting to try out Tai Chi for a while and so I downloaded a workout program that should get me started. However one of the required pieces of equipment is a foam roller, which is basically used to massage your body as you slide your legs, back and arms over it.

Since I'm just starting this out and I don't know if I like Tai Chi yet, what do you guy think of using a (full) plastic water bottle as a substitute foam roller? Will it have about the same consistency/beneficial effects? I guess what I'm asking is, what's the right consistency for a foam roller and what's special about it?

I know they're only about $20 each on Amazon but honestly I can't be bothered to wait another week or so to start :laugh:

Replies

  • VegasFit
    VegasFit Posts: 1,232 Member
    Options
    I don't think a water bottle would replicate a foam roller, at least not in my opinion. A foam roller is very dense and thick, some with nubs or raised areas to intensify the effect. They can also easily be found at Walmart, TJ Maxx and Marshals for about $15 too. I use it to massage my sore muscles after workouts . Hurts so good!
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,049 Member
    Options
    I think foam rollers are just for people with longer hair.

    goody-summer-beach-waves-model.jpg

    Go to Lowe's and get a piece of 4" PVC. That's what I use.
  • 212019156
    212019156 Posts: 341 Member
    Options
    A water bottle would not be firm enough. I would just buy one. As a forewarning, if you have never done it before, it will most likely hurt a lot. Especially your IT band (outside of your thigh). That one hurts a lot for most people when starting out. For upper body I would buy a lacrosse ball.
  • outspan87
    outspan87 Posts: 98 Member
    Options
    A water bottle would not be firm enough.

    Hmm ok, how about a beer bottle stuffed inside a sock then :laugh:

    Ok thanks, I'll get one!

    I'm reading up on it and according to this: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/06/13/trigger-point-release/ it's the pressure, not the rolling, that smooths out the fascia, so if I find a trigger point I should press on it. Does that sound right?
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,049 Member
    Options
    This isn't a bad video to watch and it's informative too.

    http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/2014/08/4-key-foam-rolling-moves-for-runners/
  • PikaKnight
    PikaKnight Posts: 34,971 Member
    Options
    Can of corn (or whatever veggie) would be better than a water bottle. Or you can go to home depot and get some pipe and foam and build your own.
  • outspan87
    outspan87 Posts: 98 Member
    Options
    This isn't a bad video to watch and it's informative too.

    http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/2014/08/4-key-foam-rolling-moves-for-runners/

    Thanks!
  • _Terrapin_
    _Terrapin_ Posts: 4,301 Member
    Options
    PVC pipe if you really enjoy rolling; otherwise by a roller.
  • grillnchill
    grillnchill Posts: 772 Member
    Options
    I picked up a nice foam roller at Sears for under 22. Tennis balls do wonders for smaller/tighter spots.
  • 212019156
    212019156 Posts: 341 Member
    Options
    Yes. A little of both. Roll until you find a tender spot and then sit on that spot for a while.
    A water bottle would not be firm enough.

    Hmm ok, how about a beer bottle stuffed inside a sock then :laugh:

    Ok thanks, I'll get one!

    I'm reading up on it and according to this: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/06/13/trigger-point-release/ it's the pressure, not the rolling, that smooths out the fascia, so if I find a trigger point I should press on it. Does that sound right?
  • 212019156
    212019156 Posts: 341 Member
    Options
    Ouch. PVC works but if you are not used to it is pretty painful.
    PVC pipe if you really enjoy rolling; otherwise by a roller.
  • in4nomz
    in4nomz Posts: 230
    Options
    Foam rolling hurts so good.

    I've never tried it, but I could agree with the people who have said the PVC pipe. Just be careful with it at first before you get used to it.

    Also, a tennis ball works wonders too. It takes a little longer but you're able to press into little spots. I'll sit in front of the TV and rub my calf or foot after running. Feels soooo good.
  • redromad275
    redromad275 Posts: 884 Member
    Options
    A water bottle would not be firm enough. I would just buy one. As a forewarning, if you have never done it before, it will most likely hurt a lot. Especially your IT band (outside of your thigh). That one hurts a lot for most people when starting out. For upper body I would buy a lacrosse ball.

    What he said^^^
  • 12_oz_Curls
    12_oz_Curls Posts: 140 Member
    Options
    I hate the roller, but it works. I am a grown *kitten* man and I want to cry when I use that thing!