As many of you know who come to my classes I do talk a lot about my foam roller and I believe everyone should have one. So I've decided to write this post on Foam Rolling and hopefully explain why you should have one and which ones I would recommend, also why you should actually use it as opposed to buying it and having it standing in the corner of the room ( you know who you are).
What is Foam Rolling? Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique (self-massage) used to aid muscle recovery. So when your muscles are tight, use your foam roller you will thank me! Maybe not at first if those muscles are tight it's going to hurt but a good hurt.
So if you are looking for to get a foam roller here are a couple that I would recommend and their links.
I actually own this one and love it, it's long enough to lie on supporting your head and spine ( so great for chest openers and rolling both legs at one) it has smaller little knobbles so isn't quite as painful as some other ones.
You can purchase this from Amazon Meglio High Density Foam Roller and around the £22 I think it's a great price.
If you are wanting a smaller one which is a little more intense then I would recommend this one depending on what colour you want the price varies slightly but this one is £25.64. Trigger Point Performance Grid 1.0 Foam Roller
This one is too small to lie on but like I said it give a bit more of an intense massage due to the larger knobbles.
What is a Foam Roller?
It is literally a roll of foam (very cleverly named I know).
Foam rolling has become increasingly popular as more studies reveal the many benefits gained from this muscle recovery technique.
I foam roll some part of my body at least once a day. Whether it is my legs after a heavy workout to help flush away the toxins (lactic acid) that have built up during a workout or whether it is to stretch out muscle tightness or to just lie on and it and open up my chest after a day at my computer (will be doing this one tonight after writing this). My foam roller is one of my favourite pieces of equipment, I also use it in my training program, it's a great core and balance workout too!
Here are a few benefits of a Foam Roller.
- Loosens up the muscles- Foam rolling is an excellent way to relax your muscles before a workout, ensuring you get the most out of your workout( this does not replace a warm up or stretching program).
- Can prevent injury- Tight fatigued muscles can lead to an injury, so by stretching out the muscle you are less likely to injure yourself.
- Limits soreness - Tight muscles can cause pain so by foam rolling this will help loosen the muscles (just a heads up foam rolling can be painful too but a good pain ).
- Increases flexibility - Again tight muscles can inhibit your flexibility. As well as working on your flexibility through stretching, foam rolling can help improve your flexibility. The greater range of movement, and flexibility your muscles have the more power they will have too.
- Deeper massage- Foam rolling will get to those hard to reach areas and help to break down scar tissue (gained from previous injuries) allowing the muscles to perform better.
- It's cheaper than having a massage- Although foam rolling won't replace your massage therapist it will make seeing them less painful and it may reduce the times you may have to see your therapist, staying on top of tight muscles means that when you do need to see your therapist it will allow them to go deeper and for you to get more out of the massage.
- Lactic Acid Breakdown - Lactic acid buildup is often associated with cramps and the beginning stages of fatigue, especially after really strenuous exercise. Foam rolling can help accelerate the body's breakdown of lactic acid post-workout and aid recovery.
- Improve Blood Circulation - Most massages are good for improving circulation, when you apply pressure as you do while foam rolling the blood is pushed through the body. Not only is it improving circulation but it helps stretch connective tissues which can help with the dreaded cellulite.
- Relaxation - This may just apply to me but I find foam rolling relaxing, yes it hurts but at the same time you know it's doing you good and so it's worth it. I also stretch after my foam rolling so it means I can switch off and focus on this.
I hope you find this helpful and if you do decide to purchase a foam roller I hope you love it as much as I do or at least like it and find it beneficial.