Sore muscles aren’t any fun. They limit movement. They make life uncomfortable. A foam roller works to minimize soreness, add mobility, and can help someone recover in the aftermath of a workout. Foam rollers and massage tools can also aid in warming up the body and eliminating stiffness, getting you ready for the day ahead.
How you use a foam roller is everything. For those that don’t know what it is or does, it’s easy to dismiss a foam roller. It looks a little underwhelming but its benefits are numerous. Here is how a foam roller works and how to use a fitness foam roller.
How The Body Works
Before we get into how a foam roller works, we have to look at how the body works.
The body has connective tissue that covers the muscles and that links one muscle to the next, akin to a shrink wrap of sorts. This connective tissue is called ‘fascia’. The health of the fascia contributes to how muscles contract and move together. As the fascia is worked and it goes through wear and tear, a person ends up with knots tender and painful, and trigger points that can lead to muscle imbalances and injury.
How Foam Rollers Work
Another way to describe foam rolling is self-myofascial release, or SMR. This is to apply pressure to the muscle to alert the nervous system to make the muscle relax.
When you use a foam roller, it’s like squeezing a sponge. Your fascia soaks up water and foam rolling releases this water, draining the fascia before there is a reuptake of hydration that lubricates the fascia, muscles, and joints. This effect is what induces temporary relaxation, and allows the soreness, tightness, and pain to go away.
How To Use A Foam Roller
There are different sizes of foam rollers and massage balls, with smaller massage tools targeting smaller muscles and larger tools working the larger muscles.
Keep in mind, when using a foam roller, you don’t want to make trigger points worse. Applying more pressure than necessary can cause muscles to tighten up. If it hurts – like ow! – stop the foam roller massage immediately. If you have budget and want a simpler way to relax your body, you can try massage gun. As an small and portable electronic massage tool, you can relieve muscle soreness and relax different muscle parts by simply holding it.
How to use a foam roller is simple. Here’s what to do.
- Rest the muscle on your foam roller.
- Move your body so the muscle rolls up and down the foam roller.
- Do this for 30 to 90 seconds at most, pausing in areas that are particularly tight or tender.
There are specific techniques to apply in how to foam roll certain muscles but there is no wrong technique per se. When you foam roll regularly, you won’t eliminate the trigger points. That’s not the point. Foam rolling releases pressure, tension, and relaxes the fascia. That’s what foam rolling does best.
Shop high-quality massage accessories, including foam rollers, massage balls, acupressure rollers, and more, at Lierre.ca. Don’t miss out our Valentine’s Day Sale!