Foam rollers have become the newest simple tool you can use for stretching and conditioning muscles. They are inexpensive, durable, and easy to use.
The way they work is through self-myofascial release: the pressure experienced by applying your body weight to a muscle group while moving over a roller eases restriction of the connective tissue (fascia) that lives between your skin and your muscles, bones, tendons, and cartilage.
Doing this yourself is like a massage therapist doing something similar with her/his hands. You can moderate the amount of pressure that you put on the area of the body but make no mistake–it hurts.
Foam Rollers are Potent Tools for Self-Therapy.
Used in conjunction with vigorous exercise, foam rollers are an effective stretching aid that can result in becoming less sore after a workout. They can also help increase range of motion in your joints in a non-intrusive way. And more importantly, they help reduce muscle knots, which can lead to injuries if not taken care of early on.
In addition, foam rollers can be used as a warm-up before working out to lessen the chance of injury. They help loosen muscles and fascia by alleviating stiffness of these tissues through manual pressure.
Technique is Important–Don’t Rush it!
Not only won’t you get the full benefit and fully stretch but you can hurt yourself. Spend the time to roll slowly and smoothly; you can pause on a particular spot that feels sore or tight. The slower you go, the better.
Here are a few foam rolling moves that will help you get the most from it:
1. Gluteal Muscles (“Glutes”)
Sit on the roller and cross your left leg over your right. Lean slightly to the left, so the pressure of the roller hits the meaty part of your butt (gluteus maximus), and roll forward and back. Do this several times for thirty seconds up to two minutes (depending on your experience and comfort level), then switch legs.
2. Iliotibial (“IT”) Band
Balance on your side with the help of your arm and opposite leg, and roll from about two inches below the hip to the knee. To increase the pressure, stack your legs. Do this slowly several times, then switch legs.
3. Quadriceps (“Quads”)
Lie face down with the roller starting under your hips and crawl forward and backward with your arms to move (slowly!) from hip to knee.
Make sure that you drink water before and after stretching; when fascia is stretched, toxins are released and you want to purge them from your body.
No replacement for Hands-on Healing
No tool works as well as human touch. A certified massage therapist can ascertain the sources of restriction and pain and work in a holistic way to release fascia and muscular trigger points. Many healthcare plans include reimbursement for massage therapy and it is definitely worth the time to permanently relieve pain and gain mobility.
For now, if you’re looking for an inexpensive and effective way to take care of your pain, start by using a foam roller.
- 5 Most Overrated Exercises You Can Stop Doing
You’re a busy person, right? You want your time at the gym to be well spent, not wasted on exercises …
- One Exercise Proven To Help Flatten Your Belly and Improve Posture In Under 30 Seconds
Unlike crunches, sit-ups, cable woodchoppers, ab v holds, hanging leg raises and the like, which primarily work the rectus abdominis (the vertical …
- The 10 Best Ways to Heal Pulled Muscles
A muscle strain can also be referred to as a pulled muscle and it occurs when a muscle has been …
- Which Is Better – HIIT or Steady Cardio?
There’s a lot of disagreement in the fitness community over which type of cardio routine is the most effective – …
- Follow These 5 Yoga Poses To Quickly Reduce Stubborn Belly Fat
While it’s normal for your weight to fluctuate from day to day or throughout the seasons, having a permanent tummy …
- They Were Told That Their Newborn Baby Had Died…What Happens Next Is Nothing Short of a Miracle!
When Kate and David found out they were having twins they were thrilled. They’d been trying to conceive for three …
- 4 Ways to Make Exercise a Habit That Lasts
Exercise is critical for a healthy lifestyle, but it can be hard to establish an exercise routine. There are ways …
- 5 Core Exercises Women Should Do After Giving Birth
Women who have gone through a pregnancy often have the same or similar experiences. After giving birth they are not …
- The Perks of Walking. You’ll Be Amazed at How Something So Simple Can be So Powerful.
Walking is one the best form of physical activity you can do each day. It doesn’t require a gym membership …
- One Stretch To Avoid
Stretching to lengthen the muscles is often touted as a good way to reduce pain and lessen the chance of …
- This 30-Day Squat Challenge Will Get Your Butt In Shape!
Not only are squats the go-to butt exercise, but they are the key to strong, sculpted legs. So you must …
- The 7 Most Fun Themed Races
Making exercise fun increases the chances you’ll want to keep doing it. Apart from the physical challenge, exercising with family …
- Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Pull-Ups
Gaining the ability to do a full set of beautiful pull-ups is the dream of gym buffs everywhere, but many …
- The 7 New Rules of Lifting For Fat Loss
Have you always wanted to start strength training but aren’t sure where to begin? Check out these seven rules to …
- 6 Stress-Busting Techniques From A Cardiologist
For many heart patients, stress is the elephant in the room when we discuss why they missed their goals for …