A shout out this week to one of the most effective tools at your disposal for physique building, recovery and injury prevention - the foam roller. As can be seen in the photo, the foam roller is a simple piece of equipment; tubular in shape and often made out of a solid foam material. Shapes and textures vary, however the outcome is always the same - increased blood flow throughout the body, better movement and increased range of motion.
The foam roller mimics many of the same benefits as a sports massage or a soft tissue massage, which is why its popularity is gaining amongst amateur and elite athletes alike. While the foam roller will never completely replace therapists, it serves as a great alternative. Using your own body weight, the user rolls against specific muscle groups to get the blood flowing to areas that maybe aren’t receiving as much blood flow and helps to reduce tension in muscles. Its light weight also makes it easy to use anywhere and anytime.
Here are some of the reasons why I love to use my foam roller:
- Tight muscles no more – the roller helps to relieve muscle tension just as a deep tissue massage would post a hard workout.
- Increased blood flow to your muscles = more oxygen to your muscles = decreased recovery time!
- Increased range of motion – the action of foam rolling helps you to stretch out muscles which in turn will increase your range of motion.
- Easy & cheap!
I like to roll out my muscles pre training, during my warm up. This gets the blood flowing to my major muscle groups and helps to reduce any built up tension. Rolling for as little as five minutes before a workout can have a great impact on the quality of each training session. If you can fit it in, a roll post a workout will also have great benefit!