I reluctantly purchased this foam roller, to assist in stretching my IT band, which is nearly always sore from running, as well as my lower and middle back. I have to say, I'm very impressed with the roller overall. It's quite firm, which I wanted, and needed in order to get a good stretch. The DVD which accompanies it is mainly a long, annoying infomercial, with a short video comprising some basic stretches you can do with this roller. I found many others on the net, and can say without a doubt, this was worth every penny.
Incidentally, you might want to invest in one of their yoga mats as well. I have carpeting, and the roller wants to slide at times, instead of rolling. A yoga mat solved that problem.
This roller has been a great part of my routine.
I'm an occupational therapist, and see many patients with IT band injuries, as well as general muscle tightness and soreness. We frequently recommend rollers to patients to relieve muscle tension and alleviate soreness in between appointments.
This roller is shorter and harder than the average roller, but has been great for my personal use. I use it to not only stretch my own IT band, but my glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads and back.
It takes time to adjust to the firmness, and there may be some pain involved in rolling out the knots, but it's well worth it. I'd recommend this for home use and for stretching and opening up those tight areas. Just stick with it and breathe through those uncomfortable moments!
This foam roller is life-changing. I purchased it about 4 months ago when I was having chronic muscle spasms in my back. My physical therapist recommended laying vertically on it for about ten-fifteen minutes a day to help stretch out the front of my body and relax the muscles surrounding my spine. There are plenty of other ways to stretch and massage using this foam roller...awesome and worth the money.
A bit expensive, but if you're looking for a further challenge with your pilates workout--this is it. I do my pilates on the roller. The cost is steep, but it definitely makes the exercises more challenging.