So what’s the deal with foam rolling? Is there benefit to rolling out those muscles on a regular basis?
I’m not a big fan of stretching and rolling 🙄 (pure laziness, not because I think there is no benefit to it!)
For a couple months now, I’ve been struggling with sore muscles and little aches and pains all over. 😣
I decided to take action. I started using my foam roller every 2nd day for at least 15 minutes at a time giving a day to rest in between. I made sure to hit all those sore areas (which were mainly my glutes, hammies and quads) rolling slowly and carefully making sure not to hurt myself. I won’t lie, it’s not a fun, comfortable feeling when first starting out! 😂 But.. after a week I already felt a big difference and not as stiff as before.
Now I’m making it a habit to roll at least 4 times per week and I have lengthened my sessions too.
What is a foam roller?
A foam roller is an exercise tool used for massage. While usually long and cylindrical, they come in many shapes, sizes and different textures. They are used for self-massage which help soothe and prevent tight and sore areas on your body. The process of rolling out tight muscles and relieving tension is also called myofascial release.
What is Myofascial release?
Myofascial release is the application of low-intensity forces to soft tissues over a long period of time. The aim is to allow contracted muscles to relax, which will improve blood flow and nutrient flow to the area. The effect is that muscles work with smoother motion because of reduced internal rubbing.
Rolling on a regular basis helps reduce injuries and improves blood flow to your muscles which means quicker recovery time after hard training sessions. It also improves flexibility. 😀
Here are a couple tips when getting started:
* Perform foam roller sessions when your muscles are warm or after a workout.
* Use the roller only on muscle tissue and avoid joints, tendons, or bony structures. Focus on areas that are tight or have reduced range of motion.
* Roll up and down very slowly until you find a tender spot. Apply gentle pressure to the area until the pain eases. Never roll quickly or rush over a sore area.
* If you find a particularly painful area (trigger point), hold that position until the area softens. It may feel tender or bruised at first.
* Avoid using a foam roller on your lower back. Since back muscles are rarely the cause of low back pain, the roller won’t ease pain, and could even make it worse.
* Foam rolling is not ideal for some medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, bleeding disorders, or some skin conditions. If you suffer from any of these disorders then check with your doctor beforehand.
If you don’t have a foam roller you could use a hockey ball or a tennis ball which hits the spot very well too. 😅 Rolling out the feet using a tennis ball will help with planter fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch in the foot. Planter fasciitis occurs when the fascia becomes inflamed. This is due to overuse, over stretching it, or wearing shoes that don’t provide enough support.
Symptoms include pain in the sole of the foot or the heel and sometimes spreads toward the ankle and toes.
Simply place the arch of your foot on the tennis ball and roll the ball back and forth while applying gentle pressure. Do this for 2 mins per foot and repeat 2 to 3 times per day. This will release tension and improve flexibility.
Foam rollers are an inexpensive way to get many of the same benefits as a massage therapist in the comfort of your own home.
This is what I call bang for your buck.😎
Wishing you a happy weekend further.