Foam rollers are a tool frequently used by professional athletes and are now becoming increasingly popular amongst people at all levels of fitness ability for use within the home. Alongside assisting with pre-workout stretching and post-workout recovery, the foam roller has the proven ability to help provide self-myofascial release.
Self-myofascial release focuses on relieving ones muscle tightness, reducing soreness and increasing blood flow for a faster recovering time between workouts. By applying pressure to specific trigger points of the body, the foam roller helps loosen knots and lengthen shortened tissues for improved muscle function and to restore the natural flexibility and motion of the body – ensuring optimal physical performance.
In order to get the most benefit from your foam roller, it’s important to know how to use it correctly. Here are our top tips to keep you in shape:
Relax, take your time.
In order to successfully rid your body of any muscle adhesions, you must be prepared to take your time. Slowly massage the trigger point, applying pressure for no more than 20 seconds before moving onto the next. Work your entire body but be sure not to over-apply pressure and distribute your body weight accordingly. Although it’s important to take your time, being too rigorous for long periods of time can actually result in damage to the tissue itself.
During exercise, muscles demand greater amounts of oxygen in order to continue performing at an increased rate. As a result, the heart increases blood flow to ensure oxygen is delivered to numerous parts of the body. In order for the body to maintain an elevated heartbeat, it must be provided with a regular stream of oxygen. It is therefore imperative to maintain a steady breathing pattern to ensure your muscles receive oxygenated blood and you gain the most benefit from your foam roller.
Avoid bony joints, lower back and spine.
Applying too much pressure to bony joins like the knees and elbows has the potential to be damaging. The joints are surrounded by soft connecting tissue that will benefit from foam rolling however, excessive pressure directly to the joints may cause irritation and inflammation – resulting in unnecessary pain. It is also important not to use to foam roller on your lower back and spine for the same reasons.
Maintain a strong posture.
The foam roller requires the body to retain numerous positions that require core body strength and at times, can be challenging. Ensuring you maintain a strong posture will undoubtedly help align the body and therefore reduce the risk of straining and muscle tension – allowing greater freedom of movement. The foam roller can also be used to work out any existing postural deviations and be beneficial to your overall posture.
At times foam rolling can be uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful. When massaging muscle tissue, a little discomfort is expected however, it is important not to overstep the boundaries and damage tissue in the process – that would be counterproductive. In time your body will understand the difference between the two and working on the accurate intensity of pressure to apply, will only aid in this particular development.
On a final note, it is always important to drink plenty of water during any workout to keep you hydrated and help rid the body of any toxins.
Take a look at our full range of foam rollers today!