What are foam rollers and how can you benefit from using them (Guest Post)

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Foam rollers have recently gained attention. Many individuals are now doing foam rolling at home or taking foam rolling classes. With people being a lot more health conscious these days, you might want to try foam rolling for yourself.

A foam roller is a tube of foam that is used in foam rolling. What you are actually doing is a self-massage on your muscles to release muscle tightness. This is also known as a self-myofascial release. You are applying pressure to certain areas of your body. In doing so, you are helping your muscles to recover and bringing them back to their healthy and flexible state. Using foam rollers have contributed to improving one’s athletic performance, reduce muscle soreness and remove muscle pain.

Foam rolling targets the knots or tension in your muscles. These refer to the muscle tightness that you feel and are often accompanied by pain. The pain may be likened to an uncomfortable feeling but it should be bearable. A great thing about foam rolling is that because you know where the pain is, you are able to control the pressure being applied on that particular location. The knots form due to training, certain movement patterns, nutrition, stress, as well as other factors related to your lifestyle. With foam rolling, the knots that form in your muscles slowly break up, allowing the blood to flow normally and allowing your muscles to, once again, function properly. Foam roller exercises also help prevent injury to your muscles during your workout.

When applying pressure to a certain area through foam rolling, you should do it slowly, at most, one inch per second. This isn’t a test of how much pain you can tolerate so if you feel that certain areas are painful, you can pause for a few seconds and relax. The muscle knots and tension should eventually be released and the pain should be gone or lessened. After doing foam rolling, it is normal for your muscles to feel sore. You should hydrate, get some rest, and eat a healthy diet to aid in cleansing your system. Don’t overwork the same area and let your muscles relax for a bit. You can continue with foam rolling the same area on the next day or after two days.  You can also do foam rolling before doing exercises as part of your warm-up to make your muscles more flexible, to get the blood to flow to the different areas of the body, and to improve muscle performance. During cool down, it helps improve better circulation of blood so that your muscles can start to recover.

If you have considered getting a therapeutic massage more as a luxury, you can think differently about foam rolling. It is basically a massage that you can avail by just investing in a foam roller. And the benefits, improve flexibility and movement, better circulation, reduce sore muscles resulting from exercise, prevent muscle injury, and give you a quality workout training session even by just rolling for five minutes prior to a workout.

I received compensation for this post.

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