Hi. Today for TriggerPointTuesday I am going to be giving my review of the TriggerPoint GRID. Full disclosure: I recently became a CFEA TriggerPoint master trainer. However my love of this product is not because I am a master trainer, rather I am a master trainer because of my love of this product.
First off, this product is very durable. I have had my personal one for over 5 years now, the only damage it has is some bite marks because I once left it where my cats could get at it, whoops! Despite this it is still perfectly usable. The only other reason you would know it is not brand new is the cracking of the logo that was printed on it. As such I have no idea how much longer it will last, another 5 years or more does not seem unlikely.
One of my favorite things about this product is actually the hollow core. The hard plastic means that is a lot firmer than a traditional foam roller, but the EVA foam makes it feel much softer and more comfortable. I would liken it to a pillow-top mattress; where you can have very firm springs for support and yet a soft layer on the top for comfort, giving you the best of both worlds. Performance wise this makes the GRID much more effective. A foam roller as soft and comfortable as the EVA foam outer layer would be much too soft to get into you soft tissue. Conversely if you were to use a PVA pipe for foam rolling it would be too hard and painful, which would tense up your muscle also preventing you from getting into your soft tissue. This unique solution provides a better experience and I think is also the reason why it is so long lasting, and has not sagged at all in the middle.
There are other foam rollers that have knobs and other surface variations on them to create areas of greater pressure and allow blood to flow to the area being rolled, which is great. However most of the ones I have seen these variations extend out of the roller, looking kind of like a mountain bike tire and creating a higher rolling resistance. The GRID is different in that the texture goes down into the outer layer. To continue the bicycle comparison it is more like a road bike. This means that the GRID has a much lower rolling resistance, much closer to that of a smooth foam roller. This is actually quite important for the effectiveness of your rolling. If your roller requires a lot of strength and force to roll, you will not be able to maintain relaxation to keep the targeted muscle soft; yet again preventing you from allowing the roller to get into the tissue. The GRID is almost free rolling, so does not require much effort to make it move. I also like how the grid design means there are 4 different patterns, allowing you to choose whichever is most comfortable that session.
Now another thing I really like is not the GRID itself but the company behind it: TriggerPoint. They are one of the only companies that actually provide education when it comes to foam rolling. They have a large number of videos on YouTube, DVDs, Guidebooks and even professional education (which I can now provide in the Sarnia area). In the end, no matter what foam roller you use education makes all the difference. If you have no idea what you are doing then your rolling session is more like a massage from your spouse; it will feel good but is unlikely to actually achieve anything (unless your spouse is a masseuse of course). With education, and the more you have, you can get the experience to be a lot closer to that of visiting a masseuse, and actually be able to achieve something. If you were actually to use it in conjunction with a massage therapist you would be able to achieve incredible results. Lack of education is probably the number one reason a lot of fitness professionals do not see the benefits of foam rolling, as they only see the mindless rolling in the gym, and not actual soft tissue work.
So what do I not like about the GRID? Obviously it is a bit more expensive than many of its competitors. However I think the factors above, especially the incredible durability make up for this and justify the higher price. Another thing I do not always like about it is common to all foam rollers, the contact area is simply too large to allow for really deep soft tissue work. This means it is more like a quick sports massage, and not at the level of a deep tissue massage. Of course this is what other TriggerPoint products, such as their Massage Balls are for.
Overall, I obviously love this product and have benefited from it enormously. The GRID was well designed to overcome a lot of the flaws of traditional foam rollers. While the price might be higher it is worth it as it is truly a superior foam roller. Combine the superior product with superior education and you have a roller that is unparalleled.
To purchase from Amazon you can click the following: