STACK Approved: The Grid Foam Roller

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Foam rollers are great for reducing soreness and tightness, making them a popular tool for athletes. The concept is fairly straightforward: slowly roll a dense foam cylinder over a desired area, focusing on spots that are particularly sensitive and sore, to help eliminate tightness in the muscles. Target areas include the IT bands [outside of thighs], glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves and upper back. [Check out STACKletes using the foam roller and learn how Chris Paul foam rolls.]

Trigger Point Performance Therapy, a leader in personal performance care, saw the advantages of standard foam cylinders and decided to up the ante with The Grid foam roller.

Unlike a standard solid roller, The Grid consists of a dense foam outside layer with a hollow plastic core, forming a specially-designed matrix with three foam densities—aka Distrodensity Zones—to simulate a massage:

  • Low and Flat: feels like forearm or palm
  • High and Firm: feels like the finger tips
  • Medium and Tubular: feels like the fingers and thumb

Trigger Point designed The Grid with athletes in mind, minimizing its footprint. Its relatively small size [13"x8"] and hollow core make it easy to throw in a gym bag or take on a road trip. You can also use the inherent instability of a foam roller to perform various exercises, while also reaping the benefits of its massage-like effects. [Check out the video below for examples of exercises you can perform with The Grid.]

Here at STACK, we've used The Grid consistently for four weeks, and it has proven to dramatically reduce muscle tightness, particularly in the quads, IT bands and glutes. This has resulted in increased mobility and a consequent improvement in lower body exercise technique during training sessions. Using The Grid after training helps reduce unwanted soreness caused by a challenging workout. The various foam densities and shapes, which produce different sensations, were particularly effective in tight spots. Also, we found that moving from the broader pattern to the smallest pattern was most effective for loosening tightness.

The Grid is available for $39.99 at Trigger Point Performance.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock