Nowadays, foam rollers are becoming increasingly popular for sports training and general fitness.
What started as a self-massage technique used by professional athletes, is now a method used by all. The reason? Foam rollers are extremely easy to use and their benefits are incredible.
Here’s everything you need to know about foam rollers and why you need to use them.
What are foam rollers?
At plain sight, they are cylindrical muscle rollers (usually made of foam or flexible plastic), which come in a number of sizes, designs, and firmness levels.
This allows your body weight to put pressure on affected muscle groups. If you are feeling pressure on your shoulders, hips or quads, rolling over these areas can help release tension and establish the integrity of muscle tissue.
Benefits of foam rolling for athletes
As athletes or fitness enthusiasts, we tend to do repetitive movements as we swim, cycle or run, which leads to the overuse of certain muscles and the neglect of others.
As a result, the overused muscles become tight — unable to function properly. Foam rollers can aid to improve ideal muscle function by resecting tight areas. Ideally, you should use the foam roll for a few minutes around each workout.
How to start
Decide the areas you would like to focus on and make sure to include as many parts of your body as you can. Start by giving each sessions several passes up and down.
Then, move onto the next one and finish off by giving the entire length of your muscle a pass over. It’s important not to overdo it. When an area is too tender or tight, it is worth to make a pause first and give it time to relax.
Here we have a video where you can learn some exercises:
It’s recommended to do foam rolling before and after your workouts. Prior exercise, rolling will help to increase tissue elasticity and circulation.
Usually, this helps to move better during a workout and also protects you from injuries.
Post workout, foam rolling is excellent to facilitate recovery since it increases oxygen to sore muscle fibers and stimulates blood flow in affected areas.