How to Use Foam Roller
Great you either already have a Foam Roller and are wanting to learn How to Use Foam Roller, or are looking into purchasing a Foam Roller. If you’ve visited any Gym, then you’ve definitely seen a Foam Roller or someone Rolling it Out.
I was first introduced to Foam Rollers by my friend who is competitive marathon runner, I immediately fell in Love with Foam Rollers. However, I didn’t start using the Foam Roller daily. I only used it after going to the gym or just when I was sore. It wasn’t until till my other friend Andrea, a competitive body builder, mentioned it’s part of her daily routine. I thought well if she does it, I should see what it’s all about. NOW I make it part of my daily routine as well!
Foam Rollers are becoming more and more popular because of all of the health benefits associated with using one. I have compiled a list of a few ways on How to Use a Foam Roller, hope you enjoy and maybe learn something new!
1.) Massage Your Muscles (AKA Self-Myofascial Release)
This is probably the most common use for the Foam Roller. If you read my other blog discussing the benefits using a foam roller, I mentioned Self-Myofascial Release. It basically means “self- massage”. If you’ve ever heard the term “Rolling it out”. Most athletes use Foam Rollers to ease all of their aches and pains after a Killer workout. If you’ve visited any Gym, then you’ve definitely seen a Foam Roller or someone Rolling it Out.
There are even classes and training strictly just to teach on how to foam Roll. But basically, whatever muscle you are needing massaged, you place that Muscle/Area on top of the Foam Roller and Roll it out and keep Rolling It Out till needed. You can reap benefits in as little as 90 seconds. Do (3) rounds to start with. There are MANY different regimes to follow, but at first go slow. It is better to be cautious and stop if you feel sudden pain, it should somewhat hurt a little if you are sore, but it should be a good kind of hurt. “It hurts so good”
Can be Used For
- It Band
Since you can use it on any Muscle, the Foam Roller is an essential tool for ANY athlete!
Check out some of the Popular Foam Rollers for Self Myofascial Release, Click here.
2.) Use as Yoga Block
If you are familiar with Yoga Blocks, or ever heard of them, you can use the Foam Roller pretty much interchangeably. Foam Rollers can be used in many Yoga positions or poses, and is especially helpful for anyone starting out or anyone who needs help with their balance. I know some of those Yoga positions can be intimidating, so use your handy dandy Foam Roller.
The Foam Roller is a great tool to help with stretching. Static stretching is a MUST if you are an athlete or if you are about to perform ANY physical activity and how vital it is to “warm up” your muscles. We have learned since our first P.E. classes in elementary of the importance of stretching.
In a study conducted by the, International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, they found that you get more Range of Motion, ROM, when using both static stretching and Foam Rolling. It’s a helpful prop to increase your ROM in many muscles.
You’re not Rolling on the Foam Roller but instead, are using as a prop to HELP hold positions and get a DEEPER stretch than you would by yourself.
This is a Foam Roller designed by Lauren Roxbaugh , named one of Shape MAgazine’s Top 50 Hottest Trainers in America. She came out with her own kins of foam roller. Check it out here. OR you can take a look at her book here.
4.) Proprioception Exercises
Maybe you’ve heard of them before, maybe you haven’t. But they are the Exercises that deal with our “self”. According to Wikipedia, it’s derived from two Latin terms: [“Proprius meaning “one’s own”, and Capio, capere to take or grasp , is the sense of the relative position of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. “]
It’s both your brain and body working together. We have “proprioceptors” AKA sensors located in our joints, ligaments, and muscles. It’s a cycle as shown in the picture below. A constant loop! “A circle of trust” if you will a quote from Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents. And once that trust is broken, you have to work to get it back!
According to PhysioWorks Clinics, which is a physiotherapy clinic group in Australia, “ your brain sends electrical contract or relax messages to your muscles. Your joint movement response is detected by your sensory nervous system and reported back to your brain for fine tuning and improvement with repetition of the process”
Every time we get injured we are at risk of slowing down the messaging and slowing down the loop, which slows down our reactions. Since we have multiple muscles, joints, and ligaments we are susceptible to injury, pretty much all the time. An extreme example of someone disrupting the loop is a stroke.
Balance is crucial for any athlete it leads to better performance and reduces the chance of injury. In a study conducted in the 80s found “ankle injuries were almost 4 times more prevalent in soccer players with poor balance in comparison to those with normal balance ability”
As we get older our Proprioception diminishes, but if you stay active and perform Proprioception exercises that engage the loop you can help improve your reaction times and improve balance, and help to reduce injury in the future by strengthening the loop.
A short list of exercises that can be performed with Foam Roller are: row, chest press, push ups, bridges, etc. There are many more, I plan on posting a video showing a few exercises soon! You can join our Email List here to find out when new content is added.
5.) Core Exercises
Engage your Core by using the Foam Roller. You can simply lie on the Foam Roller allowing the Foam Roller to sit along your spine and proceed to do a regular sit up. You are forcing your core to work harder because you are unbalanced. And simply put you are engaging and targeting different muscles than you would if you were just lying on the floor doing sit ups. To make even harder can lift one leg while doing sit ups. You can also perform Planks on the Foam Roller, simply place both hands on the Foam Roller and proceed to performing plank as normal.
These are just a a few ways to use Foam Roller. Hope you enjoyed, please comment if you have any other ways on How to Use Foam Roller! Thanks
This was my first Foam Roller and I still have it and Love it! It is made from EVA and provides a “soft massage”
Learn more about the Grid Roller.This Foam Roller is from Trigger Point Therapy, Discover why it’s SOOOO Popular!
This is the Hyperice Vibrating Foam Roller. Learn more about this “specialty” foam roller.