Let's start with the basics; what are foam rollers?
Foam rollers are a tool that come under the title of self-myofascial release. 'Myofascial release' is a term describing the lengthening of tight muscles and structures in order to improve movement, pain and mobility. Evidence has suggested that foam rollers are able to increase the joint range of motion, improve the recovery process and reduce muscle soreness post exercise. Keen to learn more about this? Head over here.
Foam rollers can also be used to enhance other aspects of your exercise routine in areas such as spine mobility, flexibility and posture. In summary, they are great all round! You can see now why we recommend getting a hold of one to almost everyone!
Who would benefit from using foam rollers?
To put it simply, Anyone! However:
Specifically people engaging in exercise, sore muscles, sore joints.
Office workers, and people that do a lot of sitting.
Foam rollers work in a very similar way to a massage. When foam rolling, a person takes up certain positions of the foam roller which allow for the body weight to apply pressure to the soft tissues during the rolling motion.
The pressure helps to enhance recovery of sore and tight muscles, in many ways it is the opposite of a massage or physiotherapy treatment- instead of the practitioner putting pressure on the effected area, you are using the effected area to put pressure on the roller!
There are many types of Foam Rollers all with various grades of firmness, however the most commonly found are:
Here at Ideal, we love a good foam roller (especially the travel sized ones we have in store!) because they can be done absolutely anywhere with a bit of floor space! A few of our favourite rolls are:
Sitting on your bottom with the legs nice and long, place the foam roller underneath both calves, and lift yourself up with your hands. Use your hands to shift the weight back a forward to roll out the calves.
Lie on your side with a foam roller under your armpit, perpendicular to your body. Straighten the arm closest to the roller so it makes a straight line with the body. Tighten your core and lift your body so your weight is supported by the foam roller. Start to roll slowly, down from your armpit along your lats.
Thoracic Kyphosis Corrector
Don't forget to keep it nice and slow when you roll out and focus on your breathing. Just doing this will make a world of difference to your rolling experience!