The foam roller has become and increasingly popular piece of equipment, with more and more people picking one up as soon as they walk into the gym.
But as you are rolling over a strangely shaped piece of foam, have you ever wondered what the benefits are?
Foam rolling is primarily used as a form of self-myofascial release. This is a soft-tissue massage technique which focuses on loosening the fascia, the connective tissue which wraps around the individual muscle. Due to various reasons including poor posture, poor movement patterns, stress and intense workouts, the fascia can become tight and stiff which leads to pain and restricted movement.
Regardless if you are sat at a desk all day, or if you are a regular gym-goer, it is believed that consistent use of a foam roller can bring similar benefits to that of a sports massage. The application of a roller can increase blood flow to the area, promoting healthy tissue function by removing waste products and replacing this with nutrient rich blood, assisting with the lengthening of the fascia and decreasing pain.
Most people choose to use them as part of their warm-up routine, but it is important to remember that a foam roller should not be used as a replacement for a full warm-up routine. Some of the other benefits of foam rolling include:
- Increased flexibility and range of movement
- Decreased risk of injury
- You can choose how much pressure you apply
- They are quick and easy to use
- They are inexpensive and portable
What areas can I work on with a foam roller?
With a bit of practice, you can target pretty much any muscle group, with most people choosing to roll their legs and upper back.
Rolling the glutes and calfs one at a time, crossing the leg allows for more pressure to be put through the area.
The foam roller can also be used on the upper back, however it is suggested that you only go as low as the bottom point of your shoulder blades. Going any lower than this will place unnecessary pressure directly on the spine, which is not protected by the ribcage like the upper back, potentially making your back pain worse.
If you would like any help with foam rolling, then please don’t hesitate to ask! For more information on any of the services we offer, contact us via our contact page.
Better Body Group, Sevenoaks