It's Time To Get A Foam Roller! with Helen Dudley

August 18, 2020 at 1:32 PM

Compiled by Helen Dudley, a Senior Physiotherapist and Qualified Pilates instructor. To book an appointment with Helen, or read her Meet the Team profile CLICK HERE


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It's time to get on board with using foam rollers

You'll have been noticing foam rollers everywhere lately - and for good reason! They're at your gym, your physio, the pilates studio, and even at your workplace!

A foam roller is a piece of equipment that can be used to release tight tissue (myofascial release).  It can be used on many muscles and areas including the iliotibial band (ITB), buttock, adductors, quadriceps, hip flexors, calf, hamstrings, shoulder region and thoracic spine.  Whether you have been training for a half marathon or just sitting with bad posture, overuse of certain muscles can cause  localised ‘knots’ or trigger points within the muscles which can create areas of pain or tension.

Why do we need to release these tight spots?

Our bodies are remarkably capable at dealing with the different stresses we throw at them each day; however for most people there is a threshold at which these tight areas cause muscle imbalances and start to cause pain and affect the efficiency of the muscle.

The release work is done by rolling the foam roller under the desired area until a tender spot is found, and maintaining pressure on and around the tender area until it releases. Similar to massage this encourages oxygen and blood flow to the area and helps soften those ‘knots’ and restore normal muscle function.

If you are suffering from any pain or tightness that you think could do with a ‘roll out’ it is important to speak to your physio first to ensure the cause of your problem is addressed. Once assessed the foam roller is an effective apparatus that can be used in conjunction with your treatment and strength exercises to improve any muscle imbalances and ensure peak performance! 

Here are a few ways you can use your foam roller at home!

IMG_1382.jpgThoracic Spine Mobility

Begin with roller across mid-back, balance feet flat, keep back flat, hands behind head.
Slowly roll to upper shoulder blade area.
Shift weight to left or right to emphasise one side.

 



IMG_1360.jpgHamstrings

Balance on hands, with roller under hamstring.
Straighten leg, using arms slowly roll back and forth over full length of hamstring - concentrating on any tight or tender areas.

 




IMG_1364.jpgCalf

Balance on hands, with roller under calf.
Straighten leg, using arms slowly roll back and forth over full length of calfs - concentrating on any tight or tender areas.

 

 

 

IMG_1351.jpgQuadriceps

Balance on elbows, face down, with roller under quads.
Straighten legs, using forearms, gentrly roll yourself back and forth over full length of quads - concentrating on any tight or tender areas. 

 

 

IMG_1354.jpgIliotibia Tract

Begin with foam roller at hip bone while on your side. 
Balance on forearm, using forearm slowly role back and forth concentrating on any tight or tender areas.
Shift weight forward and back to change emphasis of roller. 

 

IMG_1366.jpgPec Major

Laying with back flat on roller postioned from tailbone to under head.
Extend arms wide for stretch. 

 



 

IMG_1369.jpgPec Minor 

Laying with back flat on roller postioned from tailbone to under head.
Extend elbows wide, hands above head for stretch. 

 

 

 

IMG_1376.jpgThoracic Extension 

Laying with back flat on roller postioned from tailbone to under head.
Extend arms above head in a "Y" for stretch.

 

 

 

 

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Tags: shop now foam roller physiotherapy pilates personal training
Category: Physiotherapy