In a world where getting regular treatments from physiotherapists and chiropractors is a luxury only few can afford, finding an alternative inexpensive method to relax tense and overactive muscles becomes a priority. Luckily a solution can be found in foam rolling.
How Foam Rolling Began
Initially gaining popularity in 1980s among performance artists, foam rolling has since become one of the best and most affordable methods of self-myofascial release. This is due to the fact that only one piece of equipment is needed for the task is a foam roller.
What Is Self-Myofascial Release?
Coach Rob Wilson explains:
“‘Smashing,’ ‘rolling’, and ‘breaking up scar tissue’ are all common ways that athletes refer to the practice of self myofascial release. Foam rollers … are more common than ever inside strength and conditioning facilities. More and more, athletes use these tools to take a swing at treating their own pain and dysfunction.”
Using the foam roller is as easy as it is affordable. All you have to do is place the problem area of your body on top of the foam roller and roll back and forth repeatedly. You’ll need to apply some pressure to the foam roller while doing so. This repetitive motion targets the web-like myofascial tissue in the problem area of your body so relieving stress and improving the ability of the tissue to extend.
The Biggest Benefits of Foam Rolling
One of the greatest benefits of foam rolling is the fact that it can be incorporated in the warm-up and cool- down sections of your exercise routine:
- As a warm-up exercise, foam rolling is recommended before cardiovascular exercises.
- Foam rolling done during your cool-off session can help spread out the blood that has gathered up within the muscle. It can also start the muscle’s healing process by allowing fresh oxygen and nutrients to enter it.
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The beauty of foam rolling is the versatility of the exercise itself. In other words, foam rolling can work on most – if not all – muscle areas. For example:
- Quadriceps, and
Foaming rollers come in various sizes and lengths with each type differentiated by colour. Examples of this type of fitness equipment are:
Grid Foam Rollers
Although the grid foam roller may be hard it is excellent for muscle injuries.
Firm Rumble Roller
With its off-road, tyre-like design the firm rumble roller is excellent for pain relief in the hamstrings.
Star Foam Roller
Resembling the shape of a rounded star, the star foam roller is designed for a deeper message of the target area.
Foam rolling has proven to be a vital part of exercise routines. But like all exercise techniques there are correct and incorrect ways of using a foam roller. Thus, we recommend that you always consult an expert personal trainer before you begin with your programme.