Most foam rollers are awful.

They’re smooth, they’re soft, and they target a large surface area. While this sounds great, there’s little therapeutic benefit.

Why?

Because back pain originates in specific sites called “trigger points.” It’s these trigger points that you must massage to release the muscles and treat the pain. This is known as self-myofascial release (SMR).

But most foam rollers distribute pressure across a large surface area. And your trigger points don’t get as much love as they need.

So what do I personally recommend to my clients?

The Trigger Point Grid 2.0.

How the Trigger Point Grid 2.0 Helps Back Pain

There’s a reason “trigger point” is in the name. Unlike other foam rollers, the Grid 2.0 has finger-like ridges that allow you to focus the pressure where it’s needed, without the excessive pain that comes from a spiked foam roller.

It’s like having a masseuse in your own home. In fact, myofascial release therapy is how massage therapists treat sore muscles.

Only catch is, you have to use it properly.

 

Grid 2.0 Muscle Benefits (and how it helps your back)

     1. Proportionate Physique

Tight muscles make it difficult to engage muscles around them. This makes it likely that you’ll overuse the tight muscle.

Say you’re doing a squat. If your quads are already tight, it will be difficult to engage your glutes. Compound this over time and you’ll have overdeveloped quads and underdeveloped glutes.

What does this mean for your back?

It means you’ll overtax it in every workout. See, you use your back for almost every functional movement. Ignoring muscle tension will exacerbate the pain, and lead to injury. But foam rolling can prevent this.

 

     2. Greater Range of Motion

In a study at California State University, participants using foam rollers had greater range of motion in their knees, ankles, and hip joints.

Greater range of motion means deeper muscle contraction and less pain. It also means less strain on your back. Most people use their backs to compensate for lifts they can’t perform.

 

     3. Faster Muscle Gain

Most people don’t expect this. But relaxing tight muscles releases lactic acid and encourages more blood and oxygen circulation to the area. This means you come back to your next workout stronger.

 

Best Foam Roller on a Tight Budget

If you’re on a budget, the Trigger Point Grid is a great alternative. Although it’s half as long as the Grid 2.0, it has the same design. You just have to adjust its positioning under your back.

But if you can, get the Grid 2.0. It spans your entire back and is versatile enough for your entire body.