Best Foam Roller Alternatives Review January 2019 | Roller Sticks, Massage Balls, Therapy Canes

Best Foam Roller Alternatives Review 2019

updated January 1, 2019

The Best Roller Stick of 2019

Elite Massage Muscle Roller Stick for Runners

The Elite Sportz Muscle Roller stick is an 18 inch roller that targets the hard to reach muscles of your backs and glutes. This stick features nine spindles to allow you to manipulate your muscle tissue in a huge variety of ways. This device is extremely lightweight, yet very strong. It can easily be transported in your gym bag.

The Elite Sportz Muscle Roller is specifically designed to relieve muscle soreness caused by exercise. It will target knots and trigger points in order to predict and prevent muscle pain and injury.

The Elite roller is constructed from high quality, durable materials. The strength of the unit is one of it’s key benefits, allowing you to apply as much pressure as you want without the risk of the stick breaking or warping. The rubber handles allow for a comfortable grip. The ergonomic design ensures that the roller will run smoothly through your hands and across your muscles.

The Elite Sportz muscle stick roller has dimensions of 18.2 inches x 1.4 inches by 1.4 inches. It weighs in at 8 ounces. This unit comes with a money back guarantee.

Best of the Rest

Supremus Sports Muscle Roller Stick

Supremus Sports Muscle Roller Stick

The Supremus Sports stick is a rigid stick. That means that it doesn’t have any of the flexibility that you will find in most other muscle roller sticks. This allows you to more effectively apply pressure to the painful area. The roller stick is 18.3 inches long and comes in either black or white. It is extremely lightweight, making it ideal for taking with you when you travel or simply throwing in your gym bag.

You will notice that the Supremus Sports stick produces a squeaking sound when you first use it. Be assured that this will go away once the stick has been broken in, which usually takes about a week.

The Supremus Sports muscle roller stick comes with a lifetime warranty and a no questions asked, no hassle return policy.

Tiger Tail Massage Stick

The Tiger Tail massage stick was created with the full gamut of users in mind, from the couch potato with aching muscles caused by inactivity to the most active professional athlete. The original Tiger Tail is a single foam rolling piece with non-slip grip ends. This is in contrast to hard, plastic rollers which can cause bruising and snag on clothing. The 18 inch length of the roller allows you to massage the entire muscle at one time. Yet it is compact enough to throw into your gym bag or to put in with your travel luggage.

The Tiger Tail comes in two sizes. The 22 inch is best for body massage, back massage, and people who are large or less flexible. The 18 inch model works great for personal massage and is a bit more portable.

The Tiger Tail is made in the USA and comes with a certificate of authenticity. This is important as there are a number of fake imitations out there that are not up to the job. But, when you buy from Tiger Tail, you know that you are getting a top quality massage ball roller.

Best Massage Roller Ball of 2019

Pro-Tech Athletics High Density Spiky Massage Ball

The Pro-Tech massage ball is a firm 3-inch diameter roller which has hedgehog-like spiky protrusions covering it exterior face. This provides a unique stimulating effect that will allow you to work deep into the muscle tissue. This makes it an especially good tool for getting into the plantar fascii.

The spiky outer surface of the Pro-Tech ball will also improve the blood circulation throughout the body. This will, in turn, bring vital nutrients to the affected area. The actual ball is solid, so it will not give under the weight of your body.

This ball weighs just 2 ounces, making it the perfect travel companion. Throw it into your gym bag and you will have a custom sports massager to give you instant relief.

Best of the Rest

SKLZ Roller Ball

SKLZ Roller Ball

The SKLZ roller ball is a friction free, glide ball that features a hand held base and a swivel ball glider. This allows you to direct just the right amount of pressure onto the target muscle area. The comfortable, rubber sized grip is ideal for all hand sizes, allowing you to manipulate it at will.

The SKLZ fascia roller ball has a black base and a yellow swivel ball. The friction free gliding action of the ball is great for warming up the muscles, as well as penetrating deep muscle tissue.

Trigger Point Massage Ball

 The Trigger Point Massage Ball is about the size of a tennis ball, although it is a lot firmer. This firmness allows you to effectively roll the kinks out of your muscle tissue. The layered construction of this trigger point massage tool allows you to achieve deep tissue compression for faster relief of aches and pains.

An advantage of the foam surface of the Trigger Point ball is that it is much easier to clean than cloth. The ball is 2.6 inches in diameter and weighs in at 1.2 oz.

After a year or so of use the Trigger Point massage ball will reshape into an oval. This is actually advantageous as it develops points which can work their way into muscle tissue. You will thus be able to perform your own self trigger point performance therapy.

Best Cane Massager of 2019

Thera Cane

Thera Cane

The Thera Cane is a pressure point cane with a large loop on the end and a number of horizontal bars of various lengths coming off of it. At the end of each extension is a small hard massage ball. The patented design allows you to reach trigger points anywhere on the body. Even the hard to get to muscles between the shoulder blades are reached with ease when you have a pressure point cane like the Thera Cane.

The unique design of the Thera cane allows you to instantly apply relieving pressure to sore muscles. It features two strategically designed projections and six therapy balls. It is made completely of plastic, meaning that it will slide smoothly over your skin. The Thera Cane massage self-massaging stick measures 15 inches x 24 inches x 1 inch. It weighs just two pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty.

There are a number of cheap rip offs of the original Thera Cane selling online. Make sure that you buy the real deal.​

Best of the Rest

Body Back Buddy Pro Sport Cane

Body Back Buddy Pro Sport Cane

The Body Back Buddy Pro Sport Cane from the Body Back Company is made from high quality, high density polyethylene. It is BPA free and conforms to all US health and safety standards. Unlike many canes that sell online, The Body Back Buddy is manufactured in the United States.

The i-beam rectangular cross sections that are a feature of the Body Back Buddy make this unit three times stronger than other similar looking devices on the market. Still, the cane weighs in at just 1.25 pounds, making it extremely lightweight and portable.

The Buddy Back Buddy has 11 precisely placed therapy balls to provide a very accurate, in-depth tissue manipulation, regardless of where on your body the pain is located. A 12 page instruction manual will help you to get the most out of this device.

The Body Back Buddy Cane comes with a no hassle return policy and offers a 100% lifetime warranty.​

Bonsai Shiatsu Back Massager

The heated Shiatsu back massager is a massage belt which can be also worn across the shoulders. It provides relief for back, neck, shoulder and hip pain by way of a series of deep kneading shiatsu massage nodes, along with soothing heat. It offers multi direction massage functionality. You can also select whether you want to have the heat on or off.

You also get a 12 volt DC power supply with this massager to allow you to benefit from the soothing effects of Shiatsu back massager when you are on the go. In addition, you get a wall plug for at home use.

The Bonsai shiatsu massager comes with a comprehensive user manual. Operating the device is easy and you can be enjoying the benefits of deep massage therapy within minutes of unboxing the device.

On the side of the massager you will find a remote control. It has a power button, a multi-direction changer, a speed and finally a heat button. The sleeves which your arms fit into are made from a leather like material. The finish of the massager is very smooth and stylish. The inner exterior material polyester mesh.

At Home Alternatives to a Foam Roller

At Home Alternatives to a Foam Roller

The basic concept behind a foam roller to place a manipulative between the painful area of your body and a hard surface (usually the floor or wall). Often the smaller and more concentrated the object, the more effective the result. If you don’t happen to have a foam roller in your home, there are some handy alternatives that you can use.

A frozen water bottle can act as a handy foam roller replacement. You will want to put it in the freezer overnight. This is especially good for stiff calf muscles and lower back. It might feel a little painful at first, but the combination of cold therapy and deep tissue massage make it a very good alternative to foam rolling.

A bike tube or exercise rubber band is an effective way to find relief for tight muscles, especially those in your legs. Just wrap the band around your affected area as if you were wrapping a bandage. Then do some simple stretching exercises for the affected area. For example, if you have pain in the calves, do calf raises with the band wrapped around your calf.

If you’ve got a softball or a whippel ball lying around at home, this is a great tool to allow you to massage into your hip flexors and lumbar spine. Lie down with the ball directly under your hip flexors. Let your knee splay out to the side. Now, gently massage the ball in and around the hip flexor area.

Fo tight glutes, simply sit on a softball and slowly roll around, while controlling your sitting position.

If you have issues with your plantar fascii, you can make good use of a lacrosse ball. Stand barefoot and place one foot on top of the Lacrosse ball. Roll from the arch of your foot all the way to the back of your heel. Hold for 15-20 seconds where you feel the most pain.

If you have a golf ball lying around your house, take it to work with you and place it under your desk. Simply roll your feet around on it. This is a great preventative measure to help you to avoid future injury.​


There are a lot of very effective foam roller alternatives that will give your body the deep tissue massage that you need after a gruelling exercise session. The Elite Sportz Roller Stick was our favorite, being the most versatile and most durably constructed roller stick that we found.

When it comes to roller balls, the Pro-Tech athletics spiky roller is a great tool to bring your immediate relief. And when it comes to a great cane massage device, you simply can’t go past the original Thera Cane. Click here to read about foam roller benefits in general and our guide to purchase an effective foam roller that can give you the best results.

Elite Sportz Muscle Roller Stick

Our #1. Recommendation

Elite Sportz Muscle Roller Stick

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Best Foam Roller Alternatives Review 2019
5 (100%) 1 vote