This is the physical use of myofascial release. It was originally used by athletes and sportspeople to stretch their muscles, however, the activity has been adapted by individuals for general body wellness. A foam roller is a cylindrical tube filled with compressed foam. Foam rolling is done before or after a workout. It is beneficial before a work out because its a form of warm-up exercise, while after the workout, it is meant to relax the muscles.
Benefits of Foam rolling:
Foam rolling is beneficial for our general body welfare, especially if done after an intensive exercise. A good feeling that keeps your mood on top is all you need to keep up with the week’s activities before its weekend to have some time off work. The following are benefits of foam rolling;
Increases blood flow:
Foam rolling enhances your cardiovascular system to increase blood flow throughout your body. Good blood flow gives you a glitzy skin, who doesn’t want a glossy skin all their lives? This helps open up veins to prevent blood clotting as well as varicose veins. When you have a good flow of blood, you feel refreshed and happy for no reason. This is because the blood has no barriers to slow it down and guess what, it reduces the chances of getting a stroke.
Gives you relaxation:
Foam rolling stretches your muscles and makes you feel relaxed. If you haven’t been exercising, your muscles may experience clumping in your muscles which might make you feel less energetic and fatigued. A moment with a foam roller will turn this feeling around and make you relax. Push away all the stress and have a fresh mind ready for what a new day will bring.
Enhances your flexibility:
When your muscles are not clumped and feel like they do not belong to you, foam rolling comes in to stretch them and enhance your mobility. Keeping your muscles in action prevents you from getting diseases and leading an unhealthy life. Some diseases come with prolonged idleness of the muscles and preventing it is very important.
Reduces muscular pain:
This could be as a result of intensive work out or activities. Activities that require manual labor can be painful to your muscles. Do not worry, you don’t need that painkiller or balm. Here is a natural remedy for your pain. Take your foam roller and do some few rolls and your muscles will feel much better.
Increases your immune system:
As it increases blood flow in your body, foam rolling improves the immune system of your body because your cells get enough blood circulation, and the relaxation that comes with it helps in the recovery of damaged cells.
Proper ways and techniques of foam rolling
For newbies, do not be so intense with it because it might hurt, take it one step at a time but if the pain becomes unbearable after some days of foam rolling, it is good to stop and if possible, see a medical doctor for a checkup.
When foam rolling, target specific areas. Actually, you do not have to do every part of your body in a day. The following are areas to target during a foam rolling activity;
Upper back. Our backs are often in troublesome pain either from sitting for long hours or engaging in intense activity. To stretch your upper back, lay straight on your back with your foam roller under your upper back. Put your feet flat on the floor and lift your lower body with your arms on either side of your body. Roll up and down for 45 seconds before proceeding to the next target area.
Hamstrings. I don’t like the feeling of my hamstrings after running a long time of not stretching. However, foam rolling helps rejuvenate back muscles. How do you do it? Sit with your back straight and your legs pushed forward to attain an “L” position. Position the foam roller under your hamstring, you do one at a time, or both if you can. Put your arms backward for support and lift your body a bit, start rolling back and forth for 45 seconds.
IT Band. This is on the side of the thigh, and its rolling starts from the knee to the hips. To roll your IT Band, get on a side plank position and place the foam roller under the knee and start rolling up and down from the knee to the hips.
Calves. This is the area between the ankles and the knee. It is a part that is often forgotten during foam rolling. These muscles get tense from walking, running and strain coming from wearing high-heeled shoes. To roll these muscles take the same position as for the hamstring, but this time around, place the foam roller under your calves and support yourself with your hands. Lift your body a bit and start rolling back and forth.
Quad roll. For this exercise, take a plank position, and put the foam roller below your legs. Ensure that the toes are off the ground and you have support from your hands. Start rolling the muscles between the knee and the hip bone.
Other areas you can roll are shoulders, glutes, lower back, and chest. With all the benefits that come with foam rolling, it is not advisable to do it daily. Still, you don’t have to roll every part at a go. Focus on the area that needs more relaxation first. If you can, do foam rolling at least in the morning before going to work to enhance concentration, and in the evening before bed, to have an undisturbed beauty sleep. If not done properly, foam rolling can cause more harm instead of helping. Be careful as you try to maintain a healthy lifestyle.