There's an old adage that you shouldn't do things by half - but that's not the case when it comes to foam rollers ... there are plenty of benefits to using a half foam roller!
There's so much you can achieve with a D shaped half roller which - as the name implies - is simply a traditional roller which has been cut in half length-wise. Half rollers are a great choice when it comes to balance and stretching exercises, developing your flexibility, self myofacial release and strength training.
They are used by many groups of health and fitness enthusiasts at home and in health centre and gyms around the UK. A half roller is also a popular accessory in yoga and Pilates classes.
The half foam roller is a great choice of device for beginners and experienced roller users alike - it can be an invaluable aid for your workouts, rehab sessions and for looseing up those troublesome trigger points.
Even if you are a regular user of a full round roller, there are many advantages to owning a half roller to carry out specific exercises where you require a stable foam structure which won't roll away from you.
Half rollers are available in various densities from soft to extra hard - so if you are looking for a white (soft) roller, a standard density (green) roller or a black (dense and firm) roller, there's plenty of choice available. As with full foam rollers, the half roller is available in various in lengths including 30cms, 60cms and 90cms.
Half rollers are widely used for performing core exercises, often with your back resting along the length of the roller which has been with the flat edge facing downwards onto the floor. Many owners of half rollers like to position it horizontally across the front of their body and kneel on it for a variety of leg and arm extensions, stretches and other exercises.
This type of roller is very popular with beginners who are just starting out and need to build their confidence up a bit. A full roller which can sometimes be difficult to control initially and it can take a while to master. It can be really frustrating if it rolls away from the area you are working on or, worse still, if you accidentally topple off it.
A half roller will allow you to enjoy the benefits of deep tissue massage, while gaining the confidence of moving your body around on one of these wonderful muscle massage accessories.
You'll often see half rollers being used in aerobic, Pilates and yoga classes, and they are also a useful aid for physical therapy sessions.
This kind of roller is also much easier store away in a bag or suitcase when you are away from home and want to do a spot of rolling to keep in shape. A small travel roller is another option.
A half crescent type of roller is normally used with the flat edge on the floor, but there are many exercises where it can be used with the rounded side on the floor.
One group of people who benefit from using a half roller with the round area resting on the ground is skating or cross-country ski-ing enthusiasts who stand on the roller to develop their balance and foot movement skills. It is also used in this position for stretching arch, Achilles and calf muscles.
Another great use for a half roller is to ease back strain and muscular tension by placing it under you ankles or knees. Some people use one for aiding muscle re-education and developing spinal stability.
Leading brand names for half rollers include Fitness Mad, 66fit, Physique and Maximo Fitness. Prices range from around £10 to more than £30.
Most half rollers have a smooth and flat EVA form surface, but there are some which have a dimpled or bumpy surface for deep tissue stimulation. These are often used for neck and upper back massage and stretches.
Some people also use a half foam roller as a lumbar support in their office chair or car seat.