Before, foam roller is only common to those who are undergoing therapy and rehabilitation of muscles after an injury. But with all the benefits that foam rolling offers this simple equipment is now widely used in a wide variety of exercises, workouts, and yoga stretches.
What is a Foam Roller?
A foam roller is a cheap, but effective tool that you can use to roll away the pains and aches, and to strengthen the muscles as well. This is a tool that can effectively make foam rolling easy, and it makes massages less painful.
Many therapists and trainers call this tool as one inexpensive weapon to use against painful muscles. This long tube is soft to the skin, but full enough to put pressure where it is needed. It offers a whole lot of benefits for the body and muscles including improvement in the blood circulation, increase in blood flow, improvement in oxygen flow, muscle tightness release, breaking up of muscle knots, and reduction of pain.
Using a foam roller in the workouts and exercises is like having a massage because it breaks down fibrous tissue and allows proper circulation to relieve aches and pains. Although it has been practiced that the roller is used only when a tight spot in the muscle is felt, many therapists now suggest to use it on a daily basis to prevent the occurrence of trouble spots in the muscles.
How to Use it?
For Self-myofascial release or self-massage
Self-massage can be efficiently done with a foam roller. A slow rolling over the roller with a little pressure against it would be enough to massage an aching leg, thigh, or back.
- Lie your back.
Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground. Put the hands behind the head and slightly lift the hips up to roll your back from upper to the middle back over the roller. This will help tighten the abs while massaging the back, giving slight pressure on areas you want to feel the pressure at. The lifting of hips will also stretch your back deeper. You can maximize this position to strengthen your core in the arms and legs by simply stretching your arms to the sides or your legs alternately.
- Sit and roll the lower leg.
While in a sitting position, sit with one leg extended over the roller and the other leg bended. Use your hands as support and slowly roll from the lower leg all the way up to the buttock. Stop at points where you feel you want a little pressure and slowly release it. Repeat the procedures and do the same with the other leg. This workout will loosen up tight hamstrings and calves and release muscle tension.
- Lie your hip.
Lie on one side of your hip with the other leg crossing in front and foot flat on the ground. Use the forearm to support the body and the other hand placed on the hip. Roll slowly over the roller, giving pressure to the hip down to the above-the-knee part. Hold it on part where pressure is needed and release. Repeat the procedure on the other side. This workout will release tightness in hips and soothe away soreness in knees.
Why Does Foam Rolling Hurt?
There are some reasons why it hurts after using the foam roller:
- Rolling directly on an injured area.
Rehabilitation of an injured area is one of the benefits of this tool, but it will hurt more if the process is done on a mistake. If you roll directly on the area injured, chances are, the area will be inflamed more as tension is added. What you should do instead is to work on the area slowly as you focus on the connecting tissues away from the pain area. The tightness will slowly loosen up and relieve your muscles from pain.
- Quick foam rolling.
Rolling on a certain point quickly, instead of slowly, will tend to cause pain after. Be gentle as you roll and focus on tender parts, and give your muscles a slow release. This will melt the tightness away and give you a relaxing massage.
- Prolonged pressure on certain spots.
Staying too long on one spot will cause pain, instead of relief. When you foam roll on a spot that you feel a little tight, give it a little pressure and hold for a while, but not too long. This is the most effective way to take away the pain and loosen up the muscles.