Foam rolling is a type of self-massage also known as Self-Myofascial Release (SMR).
Fascia is the dense, tough tissue which surrounds and covers all of your muscles and bones. Foam rollers can relax and stretch out fascia. By loosening the areas that are tight, where small muscle knots develop, you can reduce muscle soreness, pain; minimize future injury and feel more relaxed.
How Foam Rollers Can Help
Conditions such as prolonged sitting, poor posture, tight hips, chronic back or neck pain, or trouble sleeping, can be alleviated. Using a foam roller, or a tennis ball can increase blood flow and reduce inflammation to those areas. You’ll feel more relaxed and are likely to sleep better by making those areas more relaxed, pliable, and soft.
Using a Foam Roller
Practicing foam rolling can be an effective warm-up before exercising. It can also be a cost-saving alternative to massage. You can do it yourself in only 15 minutes; it is recommended you do this each day. Then, as you become comfortable with the technique, you can increase the time you use it. It will depend on which areas of your body feel tight or painful. It can be uncomfortable when you are new to the practice because you may not be certain how much pressure to apply to a particular area. Keep in mind not everyone can get into certain positions; substitutions can be made. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Watch Lori’s video for examples how to foam roll different parts of your body.
Buying a Foam Roller
You can purchase a foam roller for as little as $10.00. Start with a medium density, smooth surface roller, at least six feet in length. Tennis balls are less than a dollar and can be a good way to target small areas including your feet or upper back.