The importance in foam rolling is something I teach all of my clients. I create a specific foam rolling routine before a workout that focuses on overactive muscles found during the assessment, by doing this it allows proper range of motion while performing exercises. This reduces/eliminates injury. ;)
Why you should foam roll:
Here are some rollers I recommend. Just click on the photo and it will take you to Amazon. I don't get any kickbacks from Amazon, it is just easier to search on their site and this is where I primarily shop for items. You can also find many options at stores near you (Walmart, TjMaxx, Ross, or most sporting goods stores).
This roller is great for beginners, as it is a softer foam, but with it being softer it will warp over time (heavy weight compresses foam, so the middle will sink). I like the 36” rollers because you can lay on them lengthwise (the length of your spine), to get a good chest stretch and roll the hard to reach muscles between the shoulder blades and upper back.
If getting on the floor is hard for you, you could also get a stick roller to roll muscles while seated.
This is a great roller as well for the 36” length, but is much harder than the first roller, which means it won’t warp much over time giving you longer life of the roller.
This 26” “less firm” roller is my new favorite, but it is definitely not soft! It really gets into the muscles with the texture (I like the constant texture more than the ones with the nubs and flat sides, as it is more constant).
If you want to spend a little more money and get something that works faster at getting the adhesions/knots to release, get a vibrating roller! I cannot vouch for these brands as we have Hyperice, but the reviews look pretty good and they are more affordable. The vibration helps get the blood flowing faster before a routine, and helps when rolling for recovery. I shared these two because they are wider than the ones we have and that is my only complaint about the ones we have. Trying to roll both legs at the same time is impossible on the 13” rollers!