Benefits of a Foam Roller
Benefits of Foam Rolling
When I first learned out to use a foam roller, I didn’t like it at all! If you have never used a foam roller before, like me, the first time didn’t feel good during or afterwards for that matter!
My Pilates teacher introduced me to the foam roller because was constantly complaining about my tight hip flexors, stiffness in my quads and calves, in addition to just overall inflexibility. After I tried it for the first time and then swore it off for a long time after, it wasn’t until a year later that I was reintroduced to this cylinder object yet again.
This time, it was at a Yoga Conference and maybe it was the atmosphere of Yogis being open and trying new things, but I gave it a second chance. As I rolled out my things, the pressure of the foam roller really seemed to massage the tightness and stiffness. It didn’t feel so bad – actually, it kind of felt good. The next day, I noticed that overall my body was feeling flexible.
Since then, it is my routine to roll out every morning before I run. There are many benefits to foam rolling and according to many doctors is a form of self-massage. A recent article in Epoch Times, states about foam rolling: "When we experience … pain and stiffness around weight-bearing joints … the instinct is to get some sort of treatment — if not a conventional painkiller or some invasive surgical procedure, then at least some alternative therapy …
A less obvious and often more effective approach is to work at improving blood circulation around the problematic area through deep pressure work and dedicating oneself to stretching the muscles and ligaments around the affected joints. Sometimes, short and tight muscles and ligaments are the root cause of a joint region becoming dysfunctional and producing pain and stiffness."
Benefits of Foam Rolling
1.Release trigger points and tight muscles, tendons and ligaments
2.Increase blood flow through your skin, fascia and muscles, which improves tissue quality and cellular function
3.Engage core muscles to build strength
Promote range of motion in your spine
Strengthen your core
Here are 4 Foam Roll Moves I like to use:
Calf and Hamstring Roll
While seated, place Foam Roller underneath your calves. Place your hands behind you, fingers pointing away from your body and press your palms into the mat as you lift your lower body off the ground. Begin to roll your calves back and forth. Repeat 8-10 times
Next, graduate to the hamstrings and roll the back of your thighs on the foam roller. Repeat 8-10 times.
Sit with your butt on top of a foam roller. Bend your knees, and then cross one leg so that the ankle is over the knee. Shift your weight to the side of the crossed leg, rolling over your glutes until you feel tension. Repeat on the other side.
Lie down with your back on the floor. Place a foam roller underneath your upper back and interlace your hands behind your head. Plant both soles of the feet into the mat, bend at your knees, lift your glutes of the ground as your roll forward and back on the foam roller. If it doesn’t bother your back, you can roll the length of your spine. I like to find a sticky spot on the back of my scapula, and really apply some pressure to mobilize the fibers in the joint.
Figure 4 stretch
Lie down and place the foam roller underneath your sacrum. Placing your foot on the mat, bend both knees, then place your right ankle on top of your left knee for a hip flexor opening. Begin to lift the left knee up so that the shin is parallel to the ground. Repeat on the other side.