Choosing the best foam roller in a saturated marketplace is difficult. They come in different lengths, diameters, materials and designs. They also range in price from as little as $10 on eBay, to around $100 in a retail store. A lot of the proposed uses for foam rolling may even be a complete waste of time. Should you then even bother with these products?
Foam rolling may assist with certain postural conditions and musculoskeletal injuries. Given the different shapes and sizes of these products however, some will be more effective than others in certain regions of the body.
The Blackroll duoball is a brilliant aid for releasing muscle and fascial tissue. Tight muscles are a function of intense exercise and/or prolonged postures. You can think of fascia as a sort of glad wrap. This wrap is used to compartmentalise all of the body’s innards. These include muscles, organs nerves and bones. Fascia holds everything inside our bodies in place and is what gives us our organised structure. Its pliability can be affected in the same way muscle tissue is.
The duoball is particularly effective in releasing the muscle and fascial tissue of the back. The erector spinae muscles are the two thick pillars of muscle traversing the spine from top to bottom. Traditional foam rolling can cause excessive shear force within the spine and is potentially damaging to the facet joints. This is especially so when pivoting large amounts of body weight across the roller.
Due to its peanut shell shape, the duoball is superior to a standard foam roller in this region of the body. The indentation between the two fused balls of the duoball negates pressure upon the spinous processes. When rolling on the duoball, there are no shearing forces applied to the spine. The vertebrae are free to move independently of the erector spinae. Using the Blackroll duoball is a more comfortable and effective release of the muscle and fascial tissues of the spine.
The Blackroll duoball comes in two sizes: 8cm and 12cm diameters. As a basic rule, the larger size is better for larger people. If you’re tall and wide, the 12cm duoball will be a better fit on your body. The 12cm diameter version is also more suited to rolling in the lumbar spine. The 8cm duoball is more comfortable for use on smaller individuals and is better suited to the cervical and upper thoracic spine.
There are, however, plenty more uses for the duoball. It is effective in releasing tissues of the upper and lower limbs. Again, the specific shape allows you to improvise in positioning your arms and legs between the fused balls. As such, you can release forearm, calf, shoulder and thigh muscles in different ways than you would using a traditional foam roller.
Given the superiority of using the duoball in the region of the spine, a standard foam roller is probably best used for your arms and legs. Compared to using a duoball in these regions, one can easily see the only difference is a flat versus contoured surface traversing the muscle tissue. Which is better? It probably doesn’t make that much difference. Both rollers are essentially applying pressure, just at different angles. Switching from one to the other might in fact offer even more relief than using one on its own.
As mentioned above, foam rollers come in different diameters. This is both to adapt to different body types, but also body parts. The smaller diameter foam rollers (mini foam rollers) can be used on the feet for plantar fasciitis. The thicker they become, the more clearance from the ground there is for treating larger structures like hamstrings and quads.
When you first start using Blackroll products, you will notice their high manufacturing quality. All products are made in Germany using energy efficient production methods. The material is known as PP5 (polypropylene) – a 100% recyclable, eco-friendly and chemical free material.
If you’re suffering pain or discomfort, be sure to consult with your trusted health practitioner. Whilst your condition may require professional treatment, its resolution may be accelerated with the use of Blackroll products. The Physicaltherapy Centre is a health clinic based in North Sydney providing experienced, friendly and professional practitioners. We offer superior caring treatment to those suffering musculoskeletal injuries. Our practitioners advocate the use of Blackroll products for a variety of conditions.
If you’re suffering a musculoskeletal injury and are seeking professional advice, book online with one of us today .