The Foam Roller
March 10, 2015 at 9:56 PM
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!
Check out this attachement for some simple foam roller exercises to keep aches and pains at bay