Foam Roller use and why it’s so great
An often unused tool sitting in the corner of the stretch area of The Urban Fitness Blackburn Gym are some strange cylindrical blue and hard pieces of foam! Im sure many a times you have looked at them and thought what on earth you do with them.
Foam Rollers come in different lengths and densities or ‘hardness’ as well some have spikes and ridges to really target areas depending on your needs.
Specifically they are used for physical rehabilitation of injured patients (similarly to Swiss and BOSU balls) but more linked to massage therapy in which they aim to relax tight muscles and reduce sore muscle “trigger” points. These trigger points are often known as muscle knots which are very sensitive spots in the muscles resulting from an injury (active individuals) and some overactive (over fatigue).
Almost all areas of the body can benefit from foam roller use including muscles of the neck, shoulders and back as well as the legs such as gluets, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.
Softer rollers are a good choice to use with those who are new to foam rolling or having some muscle tightness with sensitive trigger points. Harder, thicker foam rollers or those with ridges and spikes are more appropriate to clients that are already experienced using foam rollers, with deeper trigger points which can be more difficult to ‘access’, and to those who have high tolerance to ‘pain’ or ‘discomfort’. Girls this is a good chance to show your partners up as males don’t typically have as high a pain threshold but also they tend to have much more painful trigger point issues.
Tight and sore trigger points are also known to cause undesirable symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, joint pain and linked to problems including nausea, dizziness, earache, tiredness and scoliosis of the back.
Trigger points frequently begin as a microscopic tear in the muscle and as the muscle goes through its usual recurring tear and restore cycle, trigger points build up where a tiny part of the muscle fibre effectively stored in a contracted state, the muscle cannot relax and return to its normal length.
Why foam rollers are so great?
Foam rollers are inexpensive, very flexible and can help you to release these trigger points in your muscles.
You can use it to loosen up those body areas of tightness such as the ITB (iliotibial band) this area is the outer thigh, upper back and quadriceps (front thigh).
For self acupressure
You can roll over those trigger points in your body until you feel the muscles relax at some point. Apply constant pressure as foam rollers work in using our body’s natural response from an outside stimulus
Plank and pushup
It is a sure-fire way to engage those core muscles and doing these exercises will even more challenging with the use of foam rollers.
Use as a yoga prop
Yoga enthusiasts will be very happy that foam rollers can also be used as a prop especially for those yoga novice individuals. This will help you doing an extended triangle pose or a savasana pose.
Soft rollers are the best options to this perfect stretch and will definitely increase the range of motion (ROM).
Same as balance boards and disc, foam rollers can also be used for different balance drill challenge. The cyclindrical shape of foam rollers makes it more challenging and its ability to move with you.
Tired feet after a long run or walk? You can even use the foam rollers for a soothing massage/ stretch for those exhausted feet.
We always suggest when starting out with Foam Rollers that you speak with one of our qualified and registered Blackburn Personal Trainers to assist you starting out.
Fell free to contact our team of Personal Trainers at The Urban Fitness Blackburn Gym by calling 98948684 or CLICK HERE for more information.