What is a Foam Roller? How do I use one?
You’ve seen them before – lying around gyms, in yoga studio’s or in our clinic. If you’ve ever used one before you’ll know they can be quite uncomfortable. But while they can be painful to use initially, they’re very beneficiary to your overall flexibility and mobility. Essentially they are used for self-massage/myofascial release to break down ‘trigger points’ and ‘knots’ in muscle and connective tissue.
As it breaks down these ‘knots’, it is also a great pre warm up tool because these knots limit range of motion and stretch in a muscle, so by foam rolling you can then stretch further, which aids in preventing soft tissue injuries.
How to do it
When rolling spend about 1-2 minutes on each tight muscle, using as much pressure with your body weight as is comfortable for you. Make sure you work the entire length of the muscle too. If you find a particularly sensitive spot slowly rock back and forth over the area until the pain decreases and move on to the next spot.
Which one for me?
Rollers come in 2 main types;
EVA Foam – your bread and butter. Simple, high density foam with no added extras, prefect for everyone from the beginner up to the seasoned athlete.
Rumble/Grid roller – usually a piece of PVC pipe with padding around the edge this one packs a punch. The pipe itself does have a bit of give in it but is a more intense experience than your traditional EVA roller. Is fantastic for those hard to break down spots.
When used correctly, you’ll never want to go anywhere without your foam roller. 10-15 minutes a day is all it takes, and it is prefect for people of all activity levels.