T Nation

Foam Rolling at the Gym


I frequently do foam rolling. I use it for sure on all my leg days and I also try to do it on back days including lats and traps. I've gotten to the point that I'm used to the stiffness of the foam rollers at my gym.

My question is should I continue just using what they have there or should I find some that is harder and if so what should I use???


You can get a pre-cut length of PVC pipe at home depot for like 5 bucks. Its the same size as a foam roller and works great for the lower body, but i would recommend wearing a hoodie if you are lean when rolling the back because it can be very uncomfortable on the spine.


Do they have the black foam or the white? I believe the black is denser, and you could probably go a bit more than that if you find an actual supplier online. I've browsed my brother's PT supply catalogs, and there is an amazing variety of these doohickies.



my gym has the black foam roller and I have my own at the house that I use. I had to buy a lacrosse ball to use on certain areas because the foam roller just doesnt do it for me anymore.


The color is actually blue so I'm not sure what that means. There fairly hard but I'm sure there are a lot firmer ones (insert joke here). Thanks for the tips though!


From what I've seen the black are the most dense, blue are second and white are the softest. I use the black at the gym, but might have to go the pvc route soon. Anyone have experience with the pvc pipes? Do they suck or are they not too bad?


The black ones are damn dense,.. I'm usually okay (been using one for a few months now), but sometimes when you get a real 'hot spot', it hurts like hell working through it. I can't imagine just rolling on a PVC pipe -lol.



PVC pipes are great for the calves and IT band. A baseball for the bottom of your feet.
A softball ball is great for the glutes.
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And i forgot to add: PVC pipe is a must to get any hamstring release.
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Incorrect. Thanks for playing, douche.


I use a black foam roller at the gym, and then a PVC when I am home. PVCs in my opinion are no good for thoracic extension movements or rolling the lats because 1) it slides out from under you really easily and more importantly 2) you can feel it rub against your spine which hurts like a bitch and takes away from what it is supposed to be doing. If you wear a hoodie though it helps. At the risk of looking like an idiot, next time you are in home depot, just try it out on the floor lol and see if it is worth it.


Perform Better sells a PVC roller that has a foam sleeve, and a washable cover over that. I have one, it's cool. Can't remember the price - a few bucks more than a regular foam roller, but about the same.

Could you buy a PVC pipe and make your own foam sleeve? Uh, good luck with that.


So how do you foam roll your hamstrings?
Try answer this question in informative way. I would like to know of an effective
way of foam rolling my hamstrings as I believe thats the hardest past of the body
to foam roll.
Your not tough because you go on the internet and respong to posts
by saying "correct" or "incorrect". Thats just too easy to do on the
internet, isnt it?
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I foam roll my hammies just like any other goddamn muscle group. With a foam roller.

And I only specifically quoted YOUR post because my hamstrings had a cornucopia of tightnes and restrictive issues, until I used a simple white foam roller to dispel it. What would make you possibly think you need a piece of PVC to do so?

So, you're wrong.

And you're still a douche. I shouldn't have to explain that.


because foam breaks down whereas pvc does not retaining it's rigidity. That's why previous posters talked about denser foam...to stave off the breaking down and softening, and the lessening effectiveness, of the foam.

So while your hamstrings had large amounts of tightness the foam rolling was probably appropriate at the time. Denser foam, and going even further with pvc, would enhance the effects of rolling.

the issues you have between you two to call each other douches is between you guys though.


I use PVC at home and I'm about to cut one of my pieces in half to take to my powerlifting gym.

The gym at work has foam but I find it not nearly as effective as the pvc at home. I use it everywhere including the thoracic region of my back. It doesn't contact my spine much if at all because my erectors get in the way.


I know that, I get that. Insinuating that PVC is going reap results far beyond other foam rollers is what I took issue with, mostly.

It's mostly the whole "leaving a signature like I couldn't see your handle an inch above" thing, and going around the site dolling out advice without any kind of pictures.


Check out the rate my physique section if you want to see my pics.
DarrylLicke explained the differences between the different types of rigidity of foam rollers very well.
This is making me wonder what does everyone else do to foam roll their hamstrings? I find that the normal softer foam roller does not do much at all for my hamstrings, and I have some tight hammies! My soft tissue therapist does a good job with them, but I can only afford to visit him once a month or so.
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nb: there is a thread in 'get a life' that is dedicated to my tweeting. If you have a problem with it, you should take your concern to that thread.


Perhaps my hammie issues aren't even as severe as I thought. They had some serious issues at one point, but foam rolling them only as often as every leg day with a white (or sometimes with a black at the gym) has been fine.

Again, who knows how much others' issues are than mine.


A white roller is only going to work on your hamstrings if they are on the extreme side of the "messed up" spectrum. And anything a foam roller helps with, a PVC pipe will help more, and faster, if you have enough pain tolerance to stay relaxed as it digs into your problem areas.

I can't even get anything out of a PVC pipe these days. What I do is sit on top of a plyo box with my lower leg hanging off the edge and roll my hamstrings with a lacrosse ball. With your leg hanging off the side, your weight isn't supported on your heel so you can get as much body-weight onto the ball as you want.