Foam rollers when used correctly offer many of the same benefits as a good sports massage. Benefits such as improve flexibility, function, performance and reduce the risk of injuries.
I first started using foam rollers to work on my mobility to increase my range of movement in the gym and with my sports performance. Within the first month of regular use I noticed my muscles were recruiting better in all forms of exercise and my lower back and hips weren’t as tight.
General Rules for foam rolling:
1. Always roll firmly towards the heart and ease of on the way down,
2. Never roll over joints
3. Before exercise never hold on sore areas more then 5-10 seconds
Some other guidelines to follow are:
– Large foam rollers are for big muscle groups the thin ones are for spinal alignment
– Don’t roll over injured areas for a minimum of 72 hours
– Include deep breathing during the release to assist with getting rid of waste products at the muscles,
– Key areas to target with a foam roller are ITB band, piriformis and rhomboids.
Foam rolling is a useful tool for anyone. The fit will generally suffer from muscle soreness and tightness therefore need the foam roller for muscle recovery. Office workers or inactive people looking to get active should use the foam roller to release tight areas such as hips and shoulders and people just starting out with a regular exercse program can use the foam roller to increase their mobility and range of movement.
I still use foam rolling before all of my own training sessions and in between sessions, my strength and mobility has never been better. The foam roller is an invaluable tool. I am definitely a big advocate for the foam roller.