If you have problems with tight and sore muscles, or you just need something to relax, then you should try a foam roller. It has a similar effect on the body as a manual massage. It’s an accessory you’ll learn how to use in no time and one that can help you significantly improve the way you feel physically.
What Is a Foam Roller?
As the name suggest, a foam roller is a roller made out of foam that’s light but firm, shaped like a cylinder. With time, improvements have been made in the production process so that the roller is more durable and less prone to losing its shape over time, considering that foam is a delicate material. It can be used by individuals at home, by trainers and professionals, and it can be incorporated into an existing training program.
The foam roller increases the benefits that come with training and helps the muscles relax after an intense workout. There are a lot of different types of foam rollers. They vary in size, density and texture. For instance, you can buy foam roll that has a smooth surface or one that has spikes and ridges. The second type is better for affecting the muscles on a deeper level and releasing knots. The smooth foam roller on another hand is versatile and suitable to use for stretching and specific exercises.
Foam rollers are portable and can be used anywhere anytime – the perfect workout accessory to take along when you’re going on a trip. Plus, the foam roller is something you can use for as little as 10 minutes a day in order to see and feel the benefits. So, it’s both time-saving and convenient. The foam roller is suitable to use on every area of the body. If you buy foam roll you get everything you need to relax in just one item.
Ease Muscle Pain and Inflammation
Muscle pain and inflammation is a very common “side-effects” from working out intensively. And although it doesn’t last long, it’s not a pleasant feeling and many look for remedies as soon as they feel the slightest inconvenience. Pain killers and magnesium supplements work just fine, but so does the foam roller. In fact, the foam roller is considered to be the best solution for muscle soreness. In many cases, the foam roller has proven to improve muscular performance and prevent inflammation. Only 20 minutes of rolling are enough for the muscle pain to be prevented or eased.
Improve Muscle Flexibility
Regular foam rolling can improve muscle flexibility and increase the range of motion a person has. Muscle flexibility is important for better performance. The flexible the muscles are the better and longer one can exercise. It is best if the foam rolling precedes an intense workout so that the muscles are ready to endure the pressure. And again after the workout, you can combine the stretching with the rolling for a better effect.
It’s not precisely known in which way the roller helps make the muscles more flexible but is has proven to be beneficial in many cases so it wouldn’t hurt to buy foam roller and incorporate it into your workout routine so that you double the benefits.
Relieve Back Pain
Many people that suffer from back pain found the solution in the foam roller. Basically, back pain happens because of tightness in the muscles, improper posture and lack of physical activity. As I mentioned before, the foam roller has a similar effect as the manual massage, so it can help a lot in releasing tension and restoring proper posture thus eliminating the pain. With the foam roller, you can correct poor posture and the associated pain.
There are plenty of exercises you can do along with the roller that helps with back pain problems. For once, you can place the roller on the ground and lay on top of it making sure it is positioned right under your spine. You should stay in that position for a couple of minutes extending your arms upwards and breathing deeply.
Next, you can place the roller horizontally and lay on top of it again. It should be placed on the upper part of your back and you should move back and forwards with your legs letting the roller massage you. This exercise improves posture and mobility in your upper body. It’s especially recommended for people that sit for long hours.
You can also do the previous exercise sideways. The exercise should last for about a minute on each side and you can do two or three repetitions.
The foam roller is good to use for your lower back too. Considering that a lot of pressure is being put on your lower back you shouldn’t skip the lower back exercises. The foam roller is also a great way to strengthen your core muscles and your glutes, so, taking everything into consideration, there are quite a lot of mobility problems that the roller can solve.
After a long day of work, all you need is a few minutes with the roller to feel like you’re reborn and with a decent amount of energy again. Tight muscles prevent you from fully relaxing and enjoying yourself so, naturally, treating your muscles with the roller will give you a sense of relief. Plus, the roller has the power to lower your stress levels and calm you down. Basically, the roller does in 5 minutes what an eight-hour sleep does. It’s quite efficient.
There aren’t any side-effects from using the foam roller. Every person that feels the need can use it as long as they don’t have a serious injury or mobility problem. The chances of you getting hurt with the roller are minimal because it’s soft. And there aren’t any complicated or dangerous movements involved in the way you use it. All you need to be careful about is the pressure you apply. It’s best if you start slowly and gently and then increase the pressure and intensity if needed.