Foam rolling has grown in popularity exponentially in the past few years as a way for runners, CrossFit athletes, and millions of others to provide self-care. Foam rollers are now a part of huge health clubs, personal training studios, and home equipment for your average person.
However, when you travel it’s hard to take some bulky products with you. In the past I would pack my GRID Roller in the bottom of my suitcase and fill the inside with t-shirts and socks to save space. It worked, but was always a bit of a hassle to get it out and repack at the end of a trip. I simplified this by bringing either the Trigger Point therapy massage balls or a lacrosse ball. These work well for some applications, but don’t have the same rejuvenating power and size to get some serious work done on lats or quads.
Recently I did a review on the four best self-myofascial release products on the market. Trigger Point Therapy was of course on the list, with their Ultimate 6 Kit and GRID Foam Roller. Since then, I was given the opportunity to use and review the GRID Mini. Initially, I was skeptical. Would a roller this small actually be useful and provide the same benefits as my full-size roller? Is it big enough for my legs? Is it possible to use it to roll my back? That just seems uncomfortable and like I would fall off.
After a three-mile run I took it out my GRID Mini Roller to work on my quads and IT bands, as they tend to get tight from sitting too long during the workday. At first it took a bit more attention to make sure the roller was in the right place, but then I found a good knot, one of those where you feel like your muscle is a steel cable. I discovered a unique benefit of the GRID Mini. Since the roller is only five inches tall with five inches of surface to roll on, my legs slightly hung over the side of the roller, creating even more pressure than the original GRID roller.
Typically I use a foam roller for upper legs, back, and lats. I will use either the Trigger Point Calfballer or The Stick for calves and tibia. For forearms, triceps, and biceps I use Voodoo bands, and a Theracane for traps/neck. With this in mind I tested the GRID Mini primarily on these areas, but also used it on calves, triceps, chest, and neck.
Clearly I can’t bring my entire gym bag of goodies on the road, and I travel almost every weekend. At this point, the Mini is my number one travel companion, usually accompanied by a few lacrosse balls. If you are looking for a travel roller this is the best product. If you want a roller to use at home or the gym go ahead and buy a half- or full-length roller.
I wish the price was a bit lower for the size of the product, or that there was a discounted combo for both the full-size and Mini. Nevertheless, the Mini is a great product and does exactly what it says it does. I carry a laptop bag with me most places I go and it clips right through the shoulder strap. With its small size I forget it’s there sometimes, until I get the stare from a stranger who hasn’t been introduced to the wonderful world of foam rolling.
The GRID Mini is available for $24.99 at TPTherapy.com.