Putting your body through the ringer during a workout means you'll need an equally tough foam roller to help you work out the post-exercise kinks. With TriggerPoint Performance Therapy's newest addition, the Grid X ($50), which is twice as firm as the original Grid, it may be easier to target and massage denser muscle tissues.
Like the original, the new 13-inch tall, 5.5-inch wide Grid X features three patterns: a smooth, flat section; a gridded section of small squares; and a long, tubular section. These three parts, which are thicker and sturdier than ever, allow tissues to aerate while you roll, promoting the flow of blood and oxygen—the nutrients needed to repair muscles, explains TriggerPoint marketing director Cynthia Roth.
Each section of the sweat-proof Grid X changes the intensity of the massage, which is why the pressure might feel super tender in certain areas, such as the IT bands (for runners) or calves (for cyclists). Perform the three moves below to break down the biggest knots, promote a faster recovery, improve flexibility, and build a strong and stable foundation.
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1. To work your calves: Sit on the floor with the Grid X centered between right calf and ankle. Place hands behind hips on the floor. Cross left leg over right, keeping knees slightly bent, for added pressure. Roll forward and backward for an inch or so for 4 reps. Then rock the leg side-to-side for 4 reps. Move your body slightly forward so that the Grid X is now on your calf. Roll and rock for 4 reps. Repeat on left leg.
2. To work your quads: Get in forearm plank position with elbows directly beneath shoulders and palms flat on the floor. Place the Grid X below right thigh just above knee. Roll forward and backward for an inch or two for 4 reps. Bend knee to a 90-degree angle and straighten for 4 reps. Next, move your body backward so that the Grid X is now on upper thigh. Roll and bend knee for 4 reps each. Switch legs.
3. To work your lats: Lie on right side with knees stacked and slightly bent. Place the Grid X just below right armpit and extend right arm overhead. Grip side of the roller with left hand for control. Roll forward and backward an inch or so for 4 reps. Hold the position while right arm sweeps inward, palm up, and back, palm down for 4 reps. Repeat on left side.