With mobility being such an important component of health and fitness we take a look at TriggerPoint’s GRID X Foam Roller.
Item: GRID® X
While I could solely blame CrossFit® for my constantly achy body, more than likely it’s my crappy posture and the fact that for this girl, age 36 is apparently the new 80. Whatever the cause may be, mobility is my friend, which makes the foam roller one of my box BFFs. My go-to roller is the basic high-density compressed foam version you’ll find at most fitness locations. It’s lightweight, versatile, and best of all, it’s inexpensive.
It definitely gets the job done, which made me wonder why so many people bother with all the “fancy” rollers on the market. Then I tried the GRID® X, TriggerPoint’s newest self-massage roller design, and I had a moment of mobility geek out. The GRID® X is an upgrade on TriggerPoint’s original GRID®, a hollow-core, firm roller.
The new version delivers the same basic design–hollow on the inside and covered in bumpy nubs on the outside. However, the GRID® X, is twice as firm as the original, designed specifically for athletes with dense muscle tissue–you know, like me and my Hulk-like physique…ahem, or less sarcastically, CrossFitters who don’t have to completely scale all of their WODs.
Rolls Well: Maybe it seems like a silly feature to give a thumbs up, but you’d be surprised at how some foam rollers boasting spikes and bumps move in a wonky sort of way. If it’s hard to move your body on, then it’s not going to do the job it’s supposed to do. Rest assured that the GRID® X rolls easily, but not so much so that it slips out from underneath you, which just causes more pain. Something I wish I didn’t know that from experience.
Travel Friendly: If you’re not the sharing type and prefer to use your own roller at the box, then you’ll like the size of GRID® X. It’s compact enough to fit inside your workout bag, and the hollow opening allows for an additional area for packing in towels, clothing, or even shoes. It’s easy size means storing it in your home is a breeze, and if you’re a cheapskate, bring it on vacation and skip a massage at the spa and instead take a roll in your room.
Sturdy: Since I’m not that big of a girl (ok…there is a little ice-cream jiggle), I had my husband who has about 100 pounds on me take a roll to see how this roller stood up. I’ve heard from bigger guys that some hollow-core rollers can give a bit in the center when too much force is applied. The GRID® X stood it’s own and didn’t give under my man’s muscles.
Hurts So Good: The GRID® X is designed with long- and short-raised areas to give a finger-like feel when rolled over sore muscles. If you’re suffering after a WOD, a roll with this beast is going to hurt like hell, but bring sweet relief in the way of recovery. It’s definitely a lot more firm than the traditional foam roller I’m used to using, and my muscles were screaming “Uncle!” But I think that’s a good thing. Or I’m just a masochist.
Price: At $49.99, the GRID® X is not a terrible price, but it is higher than what you’d spend on a high-density foam roller, and a lot higher than buying a simple hollow-core, hard PVC pipe. With that said, both rollers mentioned are flat and offer nothing in the way of lumps and bumps to work into those muscles. Still, they all promote the flow of blood and oxygen–the basics for recovery. So it’s up to you if the bells and whistles of the GRID® X are worth the extra cost.
Bad for the Bony: This roller is meant for those with dense muscle tissue, so if you tend to be on the skinnier side, beware. I wouldn’t consider myself to be super dense in my lats and back, so taking the GRID® X for a roll on my upper body made my eyes tear up a bit. Yes, I’m possibly not great with pain, but I felt like I could feel every bit of my ribs, spine, and shoulder blades taking a beating. This could be bad news if you have super tight muscles or even scar tissue. However, on my lower body–with density to spare, *sigh*–the roller was better able to do it’s muscle-relieving job.
One Size Does Not Fit All: While having a compact, travel size is great, the traditional long version is what I prefer to roll on. TriggerPoint offers it’s original roller in three size, but the GRID® X only comes in the 13-inch length.
If a traditional high density foam roller is working for you, then I figure why fix what isn’t broken? However, if you need to take your mobility to the next level, the GRID® X is definitely worth a try.
It’s constructed tough and strong for athletes who are built just the same. If your muscles are dense and only respond to recovery in the way of a deep tissue massage, then you won’t have any regret when purchasing this roller.