Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that involves using your own body weight to create a pressure between muscle in your body and a rolling tool. There are now so many types of self-massage products available, that you can reach almost every surface area of your body! With self-massage and trigger-point therapy, you have the freedom to chose how deeply you work into the tissues, how long you work on them for, where you do it and when. Some people feel tight or sore as soon as they get up in the morning so can start the day with it, focusing on where they feel stiff or tight. Very active people might need it during the day if they are repetitively using the same muscle groups so that areas feel less fatigued and sore later on. People adopting fixed positions for long periods of time such as sitting or standing could also benefit from having a go during the day to avoid muscles from becoming tight. Here are some key benefits of using a foam roller:
> It improves blood circulation throughout your body increasing oxygenated blood to tissues, organs and joints, including problematic areas.
> More oxygenated blood reaching the cells can help rid them of waste products and toxins.
> Lengthening of muscles that are prone to becoming tight due to repetitive movements and positions in everyday life. This can help your weaker muscles to function better due to less restriction placed upon their range of movement by the tighter (or stronger) muscles. Following on from this, with the right movements, your weaker muscles can become stronger!
> Stretching of tight or tense areas of the spine allowing it to twist and move as it should.
> Ability to provide a treatment for problem, or tight, areas of your body in the comfort and warmth of your own home or in your garden, as frequently as you like!
> Decreased pain and tension in the body and less reliance on painkillers or other drugs.
In addition to this foam rolling, or self-myofascial release, can be done before exercise as part of a warm up because it increases blood flow to the muscles you are about to use. Many of the techniques involve engaging your core muscles and using your limbs to support the weight or stability of your body. It can also be used as part of a cool down to flush out lactic acid and therefore reduce muscle soreness later on. If you would like any advice on foam-rolling or would like to learn how to use foam-rolling tools effectively, please feel free to contact me.