Monday, July 7, 2014

DIY Foam Roller

With running comes great responsibility, and pain. My quads and IT band have been very sore, and well one of the best things is foam rolling. One problem, the foam roller I occasionally use is gym property and I'm not always at the gym when I need it. Next problem? Foam rollers run about $30, bye Felicha. Or at least the high density large ones do, the one I needed/wanted. So the only plausible solution is to make my own. And I did, for $11 actually and it could outlive the store bought ones as well.

So before you can make your own, you should probably understand foam rolling and its purposes.

A foam roller is a dense piece of foam in many different lengths and densities that is designed to massage the muscles and the tissues around them using your body weight to press against the foam. People who perform repetitive exercise will cause the muscles and the connective tissue to tear and repair in away that form areas that cause pain that reduce muscle movement. Foam rolling is an inexpensive way (vs sports massage or in severe cases, surgery) to increase mobility of the muscle, blood flow to the tissue and relax contracted muscles. It creates almost immediate relief from muscle tightness.


* Avoid bony areas and joins, don't roll directly over knees, hips, or shoulder joints, this will cause too much pressure on the joint itself.

*Roll slowly and stop when you feel the pain. When you find a painful spot, you've found the cause of the problem. If the pain is tolerable roll it out slowly. Make sure you get it from all angles and the areas beside it. If the pain is too intense work around it first then work up to the painful spot.

* Each area should be worked for about 60 seconds each. 

Now lets make one!

You'll need:

2 Pieces of 1 inch pre cut foam pipe insulation (Plumbing Department)
1 Piece PVC Pipe, I choose a 3 inch diameter that was 2 feet long
Duct Tape

Make the duct tape double sided and place along the pipe, make sure to get the top and bottom to hold the foam in place.

Open the foam up along the pre cut slit. While holding it open, press it on to the duct tape. Use one hand to keep opening up the next section and the other to press it on to the duct tape. Cut the foam even with the edge of the pipe. One piece should cover each layer. 

Start a long piece of duct tape on the inside of the pipe and follow the seam and finish it on the inside of the other end. Repeat on each seam.

I wanted my a little thicker, so I double layered it. Repeating all the steps again.


You can spice it up and use what ever tape you want or go around the edges to make it look snazzy, the important thing is it works!

When it came to making my own I did some research and this one should stand up pretty well. Most foam rollers are solid foam and the foam begins to break down after a while, because this one has a sturdy center it won't be able to completely break down! Because I made it my self, for less than 5 dollars I can replace the foam if I ever needed to. I thought about a pool noodle, but they are a very light and airy foam that would break down easily and doesn't have a solid core.

Here are some breakdowns of how to use the foam roller:

And here is a video that goes more into detail :  How To Use a Foam Roller

Do you foam roll? Tips or tricks?


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have never heard of this roller before but need one for my right hip. I'm just getting back into fitness after a long lazy spell and it's that hip stopped my old running routine. Maybe this will help!

  2. This was actually super informative. Thanks for sharing. Makes me give foam rolling a second thought.

  3. I've been looking at foam rollers online and in stores. All of them look so stiff and hard, I feel I'd hurt even worse. I looked at the MELT roller online, but it is very expensive, so I thought about making my own. Your post is VERY helpful. Thank you so much!