|Not sure I look as cool as this guy while I'm rolling....but I'm sure its close.|
It's the NordicTrak 3-in-1 foam roller and it runs $30. Not bad. The nice thing about the 3-in-1 system is you can customize the density of the foam roll to your preferences. It includes 18 in. foam roller, 18 in. rolling massage stick, high density foam roller layer, and low density foam roller layer. There is also an included instructional DVD to "learn how to reduce muscle tension and improve your recovery time". I actually haven't used the DVD, because I learned how to use them in a yoga class once. But it could definitely be helpful for someone new to rolling.
Foam rolling is touted as being able to stretch and lengthen your muscles for fast relief after hard workouts/long runs. It is also said to shorten recovery time. My school of thought is, if it can help and it isn't going to hurt, why not give it a try? Runner's World as even called it the "Magical Foam Roller". A video on how to use can be found here: How to Use a Foam Roller When I use it, especially on my IT band (outside of hip), I can definitely feel a release in tension. It also feels like a great massage on my well used quads and hamstrings as well.
I also found this cool infographic on Pinterest as well:
Happy Running and Happy Rolling! :-)