Foam Rollers: myofascial release and beyond

Foam rollers have been on the scene for a while now. There are new kids on the block such as the rumble roller and the power stick to name a few. However; there are some ways of using the foam roller that just doesn’t work so well with the other kinds of myofascial release tools so if you want to minimise the amount of myofascial release tools you have lying around your house, a foam roller is a good buy. Here are some reasons you might want to take up foam rolling.

Does more than just massage

The foam roller can be used for myofascial release in a lot of areas of the body including the legs and back to name a few.

It can also be used for stretching the chest, stretching the hip flexors, perform balancing
exercises and strengthen the lower abdominals! It is very versatile which when considering what product to buy is a huge plus. If you were only going to buy one tool, compared to a spikey ball or a rumble roller the foam roller is definitely a winner! P.S I have a spikey ball and a foam roller at home; the spikey ball can get into some areas where the foam roller is limited.

Helps to reduce the amount of trips you need to your Myotherapist

Being a Myotherapist I might be putting my foot in it here, but…foam rolling regularly on you predetermined tight bits, combined with the right stretches and possibly some prescribed strengthening exercises, can definitely reduce the amount of trips you might need to your Myotherapist, so in the long run it might save you a few bucks! Bonus!

Will potentially help you perform better at work, hobbies and sports.

When foam roller exercises are part of a program to enhance correct postural alignment or to assist the correct muscle development set for a specific sport it can really make a difference to how you perform.

For example, a runner…The push of phase of running is the part where the back of the leg iStock_000054793842_Mediumneeds to do the work and the front of the leg needs to be in a lengthened state. If you have tight hip flexors it doesn’t allow your leg to come into the correct alignment for the muscles at the back to fire properly and in fact makes the hip flexors work even harder! So by foam rolling and stretching the hip flexors before a run you’d be doing your body a huge favour! Again, I would highly recommend getting some proper advice before starting a new foam roller regime.

At work if your posture is better you will be able to perform your duties for longer without
fatiguing or pain, whether it is a standing or a sitting job. And hobbies much the same, you will be able to do longer sessions of the things you love without having to worry about pain the next day, a good example of this is gardening, have you ever woken the next day with a tight low back after gardening? Well in short, it shouldn’t! You should be able to enjoy what you love without struggle and without pain, this is what the foam roller can help you to do.

Can help to relieve stress

I think most of us are aware of how good it feels to release endorphins. You can release endorphins and other calming neurotransmitters when you foam roll. It can also be quite meditative depending on your environment perhaps! But the counting out of how many reps you have done, the deep breathing required to combat the pain and the feeling of your muscles beginning to soften beneath the roller all make, for a very pleasant experience.

Have you used a foam roller before? Share your experiences.

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