Foam rolling has taken the fitness world by storm over the past couple of years but there are still people who are confused about what it is and how it helps. So today we’re going to explain just how foam rolling can help you.
What Is Foam Rolling?
Foam rollers are cylindrical shapes of ‘foam’ which were invented to help people perform self myofascial release. In other words, it’s a form of manual therapy used to treat tight, stiff muscles and fascia which you can do at home.
How Does It Help?
Foam rolling can be use as a form of self massage. The pressure exerted on the fascia and muscles during rolling can increase blood flow, break up fibrous adhesions and improve the mobility of the tissue.
How To Use It?
Put the foam roller on the floor and put your body weight on it through the muscles that you want to release. Always stay on the soft tissue – don’t roll on any bony structures or joints. Begin gently and gradually increase the pressure as you go.
When should I foam roll?
It is best done before stretching and/or after exercising to release tension in the muscles.
Should it be sore?
When you first start foam rolling it can feel quite tender or uncomfortable and some areas of the body are certainly more sensitive than others. However it shouldn’t be so painful that you can’t bare it. We would suggest that as long as you have had some instruction on how to foam roll correctly, it is okay to go through some discomfort while you foam roll as long as it doesn’t exceed your tolerance levels.
3 Ways To Use Your Foam Roller
To get you started, here's 3 simple ways to use your foam roller.
Sit on the mat with your calf resting on the foam roller.
Gently lift your hips from the mat using your hands as support.
Roll forwards and backwards on the foam roller until you feel the pressure through your calf muscles.
Vary the angle of your ankle joint by flexing your foot up towards you or by rotating the foot outwards and inwards to hit all areas of your calf. Repeat to other leg.
Sit on the ground with the foam roller just above your knee.
Leave the opposite foot on the ground and raise your hips off the floor using your hands as support.
Pushing through the foot on the ground, roll forwards and backwards over the foam roller.
Keep your heel on the ground to allow your hamstring to remain soft during the movement. Repeat to other leg.
Lie on your side with the foam roller placed underneath the thigh.
Raise your foot off the ground using your arm as support.
Thrust through the opposite foot to move your body weight up and down over the foam roller.
Roll over the muscles between your hip and knee.
Keep your core engaged and tummy muscles pulled in to support your lower back.
To vary this exercise, rotate your raised foot to look either to the ceiling or to the floor to cover all aspects of the ITB. Repeat to other leg.
It is always recommended to consult with your physiotherapists for approval/advise before starting any self-myofascial release. If you would like to make an appointment here at Physiofusion please contact us here.