The use of vibrating foam rollers has become extremely popular in recent years as a mode of after exercise recovery. They are used by people of all experience levels from professional athletes and physiotherapists to the casual gym-goer. However, you don’t need to be a fitness fanatic to derive benefits from a foam roller – they can be used by anyone to reduce muscle tightness and soreness, reduce inflammation, or to help increase flexibility and range of motion. We’ve tested and researched foam rollers and their benefits, and in this article we’re going to focus on the best vibrating foam roller options for 2021.
Why choose a vibrating foam roller vs an ordinary foam roller?
Sports scientific studies have confirmed that the use of foam rollers greatly helps to increase recovery while shortening recovery time. But what’s the difference between an ordinary cheap roller and the more expensive vibrating foam roller?
The main benefit of the foam roller is that it targets the fascia, which is the closest layer of muscle to the skin. The fascia gets taut and tight resulting in soreness in pain, from exercise but also from just everyday use. Using the foam roller helps to restore this connective tissue to its original state.
The vibration feature on foam rollers increases blood flow. flexibility and range of motion by 40%, compared to 18% with an ordinary foam roller . The research, which was done in 2015 by UNC, concluded the added vibration feature increases flexibility, range of motion and increase of muscle blood flow twice as much as the ordinary foam roller.
Best Vibrating Foam Roller 2021
#1 – Hyperice Vyper 2 (Our Top Pick)
This one is a bit of a class act. It’s German engineered, an award- winning high tech vibrating foam roller. It boasts three high intensity vibrating speeds, and a dual zone, smooth and grooved. It can be used in warm- ups and you can actively recover faster after a strenuous or vigorous training session. It used by some of the world’s best athletes, so you are in good company.
- It has an optimal self myofascial release tool to increase the flexibility, circulation while reducing muscle soreness
- Three tier vibrations settings ensure superior amplitude and great assistance for your physiological well being
- Hyperice vibrational tech with the strong robust outer shell ensure you are getting maximum muscle penetration
- Its deemed to be far more superior than your ordinary foam roller. For warm up and active recovery
- This roller increases motion by 40% when compared to the regular foam roller.
- Rechargeable lithium batteries, gives you two hours of use
This foam roller is not cheap, in fact it’s the most expensive one on our list. However, if you want real quality, durability and a high performing vibrating foam roller which essentially ticks all the right boxes, then this could be your ticket. It is highly rated by users and Hyperice is one of the best known brands in fitness recovery.Click To Check Price On Amazon
#2 – NextRoller 3 Speed Vibrating Roller
The NextRoller has a simplified design and has been shown on CB5, Fox, NBC. It has been consistently used by professional trainers and has a degree of trust attached to it. The 3 speed option ensures you can set it to your most comfortable warm up or warm down position.
The outer shell is notched and strong and has a motor inside.
In terms of value for money its not as expensive as others on the market, which could suit the budget seeker.
• The roller acts as a massager and aids recovery after exercise sessions
• It opens up the muscle groups in preparation for any type of exercise and helps to soothe aching muscles after your workout is complete
• Can also help massage other lasting chronic pains in neck, back and knees
• Three vibrational settings – low, medium and high intensities so that you can apply the perfect amount of pressure
• The battery on this one was not that great (users reported loss of power and the need to charge in short time)
Probably not the best option for everyone as this seems to lack a bit of quality. The cost is far less than the Hyperice though so this will probably be a good selling point.Click To Check Price On Amazon
#3 Phenom 3-Speed Ergonomic Vibrating Foam Roller
It’s still a very high quality piece of fitness equipment which can add value to your fitness regime. The ergonomic part being the unique stand out point, this effect ensures deep tissue muscle areas are reached and massaged and soothed after intensive work outs. The Roller almost adjusts to the contours of your body as it goes to work to repair any tissue damage and soreness caused during vigorous exercise.
• This roller”s main purpose is to reach body parts which others might miss, like the inner and outer thighs. It prides itself on deep muscle penetration which will ensure a complete after exercise recovery.
• The carefully designed ergonomics adjust to your bodies shape to reach far into muscle tissues to soothe soreness and muscle fatigue
• It is very portable, has a carry handle so you can take it to your gym or area of exercise easily. Includes lithium batteries, these are capable of lasting up to 3 hours.
The design is spikey which could be a put off for some, and its not the cheapest in the range of rollers. The ergonomic technology design is a big plus, it ensures no targeted muscles groups are missed in the after exercise recovery process.
#4 LifePro 4 – Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
The LifePro gives you 4 speeds instead of 3, an addition that can make a difference. It allows you to gradually work your way up, starting at the lowest speed and then gently increasing the vibrating speed as you move into top gear. The 4 speed option can prevent you from jumping straight in at the deep end. It helps you focus more on getting the roller to work with ease as you position your body part on the target area.
The outer cover is smooth (soft material) and most probably will feel a lot more comfortable when you begin to roll your tired and sore muscles.
• The 4 Speeds can reach up to almost 4000 vibrations per minute, so it can really get working fast on your tiring and aching muscles
• It comes with e-book and access to online library with video tutorials so you can be fully informed on all the correct warm -up and warm down techniques
• The rechargeable battery has a long life and allows you plenty time to finish long training sessions and then be ready to use your vibrating roller
• Comes with a draw string bag, so you can keep it clean and makes for it easy to carry around.
The roller is made from soft and smooth material making it very comfortable. The 4 – speed option adds a new dimension to after workout recovery. Increased speed means better and more vibrations to help muscle recovery.
#5 Vulken Intensity Vibrating Foam Roller
It also provides the user with a 4 – speed vibrational aspect. The idea behind the vibrations is it resuscitates sore muscles more effectively than an ordinary foam roller.
This roller measures 17 inches (43cm) so its designed to be easy to carry around – it comes with a proper bag, not a draw string sack.
• The Vulken is shaped long and thin helps to prepare you for stamina testing exercises, and effectively soothes and relieves sore muscles after you have finished.
• It is supplied with a strong sporty looking bag which keeps the roller clean and well protected in rain and adverse weather.
• The 4 – speed vibrations ensure any body part properly placed on roller is worked well.
This is an eco- friendly vibrating roller. It can help prepare your body for stamina testing exercise so that your muscles remain strong and ready. The free carry bag is a nice added extra but is a limited offer so might not be around forever.Click To See On Amazon
#6 FitIndex Electric Foam Roller
The FitIndex can easily be put into the budget seekers category, probably the least expensive one currently available in the range of vibrating rollers.
• Offers massaging effects while the vibrations work to provide therapeutic relief to tired and sore muscles
• Probably doesn’t look the best but is made from durable materials
• It has a rechargeable battery
• It weighs only 2.1lbs, so is light and easy to carry around
If you’re looking for a budget option then this is worth checking out. It’s certainly a good starting point for anyone interested in getting into foam rolling.See The FitIndex Roller On Amazon
Buyer’s Guide For Foam Rollers (Things To Consider)
You have decided to purchase a vibrating foam roller, but which one do you go for? We have compiled a buyers’ guide for you to help with the decision making process.
Type Of Foam Roller
• Low-density foam roller: These are the softest and most lightweight on the market. If you have muscle soreness after a hard and gruelling fitness workout then low density is very suitable.
• Medium-density foam roller: The medium density foam roller can be used by beginners and seasoned professional athletes. It covers all aspects of stretches and planned and specific exercises (usually very challenging ones).
• High-density foam rollers: The high-density foam rollers are more suited to a higher level of myofascial release (deep muscle penetration). It can greatly help seasoned athletes or those of us who enjoy long, hard, energy-zapping professionally tailored fitness sessions.
Type Of Surface
• Smooth: The standard foam roller will have a smooth surface. They will generally be designed for the new or the beginner. The aim of being a smooth surface provides a gentle massage effect. The smooth roller is made from a firm or soft type of material. You should go for the firmer material as it will last longer.
• Jaggy/Bumpy Types: At first glance, these type of rollers, appear unusual and frightening to some of us. This can be due to the ridges. The ridges are purposeful and necessary as they dig into the knotted muscle tissue areas to give much-needed relief.
• Vibrating Foam Roller: These are the elite ones currently on the market. The inbuilt vibrating motion sets them apart from the others. The powerful vibrating effects go to work faster on muscle soreness. The studies conducted confirm vibrating foam rollers work twice as effectively as the ordinary foam roller.
The actual size of your foam roller is down to personal choice. Some of us don’t mind a big one others prefer small or compact. The foam roller does come in at different sizes such as:
• 12-inch roller – it mainly targets one specific area at a time (ideal for travel)
• 18-inch foam roller ideally targets your quads and hamstrings
• 20 – 24-inch roller, the seasoned athletes choice, rolls the entire body
• 31 -32-inch roller, tackles larger body areas like your back
The larger foam roller does suit back muscle soreness better than the smaller ones. The small foam roller is ideal for those of us who want to roll forearms, IT bands, and feet. So the size you choose can very much depend on your needs.
How And When To Use A Vibrating Foam Roller
You can use a vibrating foam roller before and after your work-out. When you use it before, try and target your glutes, back, shoulders and hips. This will ensure all the major muscle groups are warmed up ready for strenuous exercise.
The best way to use your vibrating foam roller is just rolling back and forth on the specific body part you have targeted. This is no different from using an ordinary foam roller.
You should keep these movements slow and focused until you encounter a tight spot then hold that spot for 30 – 60 seconds. This vibrational sensation might feel odd at first but it shouldn’t hurt. If you are a beginner it’s best to start at the lowest level and hold at the tight spots for 30 seconds.
Who is a vibrating foam roller suitable for?
A roller would make a great gift for yourself or anyone interested in sports – whether that’s running, yoga, climbing, martial arts, cycling, boxing, weight lifting, Crossfit or more. Basically you can use one for anything that leaves muscles sore.
Our Final Verdict
A vibrating foam roller is an excellent way to loosen and lengthen your muscles for extra flexibility and range of motion (even for those who aren’t into exercise). Foam rolling your muscles really reduces the soreness and stiffness you might normally feel after working out and is an excellent way to get rid of muscle knots and pains and aches.
Although you’ll get some great benefits just from an ordinary cheap foam roller, the vibratory effect of any of our best vibrating foam rollers listed above multiplies the benefits, making it a great addition to your fitness regime. Or if you’re not into exercise just a good investment in your overall muscle and joint health (something we all need). At up to $200 (for the top brand, Hyperice) they are certainly more expensive, however the average price is about $90-$100 which is pretty affordable considering this is a tool you can (and probably will) use on a regular basis.
Check out some of our top picks on Amazon and read the reviews: