The Foam Roller is a sports accessory that has more and more followers.
The main advantage of the Foam Roller is that it can stimulate the fasciae. This is known as the myofascial release technique .
Medical experts and fitness professionals use this technique as a muscle recovery method.
In this article, you will be able to learn what the Foam Roller is, what it is for, and a series of examples of exercises.
Foam Roller – What is it?
The Foam Roller is a sports accessory that consists of a rigid foam-rubber roller. To use the Foam Roller, you must roll with your weight over the body area that you intend to massage.
There are different sizes, lengths, and diameters of Foam Rollers. Some may have a smooth or raised surface. It all depends on the use and needs of each person.
The foam roller allows the mobility of the fasciae or muscle layers, which is known as ALM.
This technique is used both as a physical warm-up before a gym routine. As well as a muscle recovery tool. In recent years, the Foam Roller has become part of the training of many high-performance athletes.
Exercises with Foam Roller
The Foam Roller must be used on the ground. The person must be lying on top of the foam roller.
Fitness and sports professionals recommend starting using it in areas where you feel greater muscle sensitivity. It is recommended to roll slowly and extensively, always on the muscle.
Below are exercises with the foam roller.
1. Back of the buttocks
Place the massage cylinder just above the popliteal region. Do slow forward and backward movements, but no more than 10 cm per exercise. Gradually move up to the gluteal area. Pay attention to the size of the muscles where you feel pain or tension.
2. Exercise with a foam roller for the back of the legs
Place the roller under your legs. Resting on your elbows, begin to gently roll the roller back and forth, massaging the muscles. Avoid excessively violent movements and do not put pressure on the knee joints. Do the exercise for 1-2 minutes.
This exercise with the Foam Roller is especially recommended for runners. Doing it after training helps improve blood circulation in the calf muscles. Roll the roller slowly, paying attention to where you feel discomfort.
4. Lateral leg area
Myofascial release of the outer thigh helps footballers, and other athletes actively use their legs. Working 10 to 15 cm at a time, slowly roll down the left side of the body first and then the right. In total, the exercise requires at least two minutes.
5. Inner thigh
It is better to use a roller with a larger diameter; This will elevate the hips and make the massage procedure easier.
6. Foam roller for lower back
Using the myofascial release roller on the back requires care; in particular, avoiding pressure directly on the vertebrae in the lower zone is essential. As with other exercises, slowly turn the roller while massaging your back slowly and gently. If you feel sharp pain like a needle, stop exercising.
7. Lateral abdomen
This exercise will help warm up the latissimus dorsi and lateral core muscles involved in chin-ups and incline rows. Also, this exercise is ideal for swimmers.
In many ways, this exercise is similar to the previous one. However, the load is applied not to the lateral surface of the body but the triceps area.
The neck area is the most delicate area for massage. Avoid direct pressure with the roller, and do not use harsh elements. This can damage the vertebrae. Skate back and forth without turning your head from side to side.
When performing this exercise, the movement should be done in the form of a circle, repeating the shape of the shoulder joint. It is suitable for cross-fitters and gymnasts who actively use their arms during training.
Essential tips for using the Foam Roller
Other essential tips on how to use the Foam Roller:
- The knee should be placed below the muscle group
- The body should rest on it and massage for 1-2 minutes with your weight in the same direction as the muscle fibers.
- In no case should extra pressure be exerted on the roller? It is the bodyweight that performs the pressure.
- If you want to increase the intensity, you can gradually reduce the supports on the ground.
- Never use it in areas where tendons, joints, or bones are located.
If it is not clear to you, you can check the following video on using the Foam Roller correctly.
Foam Roller Benefits
The Foam roller increases the flexibility of the muscles in the short term. It is an excellent alternative to static stretching before a routine.
Studies have shown that increased flexibility is maintained for up to ten minutes when used. (1,2)
With regular use of the Foam Roller, there is a long-term improvement in balance and flexibility. As well as a short-term muscle pain reduction effect. Also, it is an excellent tool for improving posture, neck pain, and lower back pain.
There is evidence to suggest that the Foam Roller can help improve range of motion and improve long-term flexibility.
The benefits of the Foam Roller are:
- Improve flexibility
- Increase range of motion
- An improvement in short-term balance
- It allows to stimulate the fasciae and decompress inflamed areas
Foam Roller Benefits for Soccer Players
In an investigation by the University of Navarra on a group of amateur soccer players, positive results were obtained with the use of Foam Roller regularly. (1)
They used the foam roller before workouts improved quadriceps flexibility in the short and long term. The benefits of using FM in isquitoibials have not yet been confirmed.
For footballers, the use of a Foam Roller could reduce injuries at the quadriceps level.
Contraindications of the Foam Roller
The Foam Roller is an accessory ideal for physically warming up for both adolescents and adults.
However, it is not recommended to do exercises with the Foam Roller in very painful areas and should not be used in case of rupture or tear of the muscle fibers.
Using the foam roller is also not recommended for people with heart failure, kidney failure, or contagious skin diseases.
In the beginning, it is advisable to start using it with a coach or a sports professional. Assistance when starting to exercise will help you learn to use it correctly.
With practice, you can include it both as a relaxation method at home and as a recovery after a long flight.
Where to buy a Foam Roller?
This sports accessory is found in most sports stores as well as you can find it through Amazon at the following link: Foam Roller Amazon.