Foam rollers, often described as a poor man's (or woman's) massage therapist are found in most gyms across the country today but I often find them sitting alone in a corner waiting for someone to pick them up. Poor, poor foam rollers.
Don't let those foam rollers suffer any longer! According to Wikipedia, foam rolling is, "a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that is used to inhibit overactive muscles." Alright so.... what does that really mean? It means it's a massage for soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, fascia, muscles...) that can help increase circulation, decrease muscle tightness, help prevent injuries, assist in performance and help speed up recovery. And, it just FEELS GOOD!
Now, how do I use a foam roller? Before a workout, I place the foam roller under the muscle(s) I wish to massage and roll! If I find an area of tension or soreness I stop the roller on that point and rest for 30-60 seconds and then continue on rolling. I roll each desired muscle group for 1-2 minutes.
According to Dr. Mike Clark, CEO of the National Academy of Sports Medicine in an interview with Outside magazine, he recommends to foam roll before a workout followed by stretching tight muscles and then dynamic stretching. He adds that if interested, you can follow your workout with foam rolling as well.
I found this little guy below here and though it was the perfect quick introduction to foam rolling!
I found Jill Hanner's YouTube video a great source for how to roll to the hard to reach places.
You're turn! Have you used a foam roller before?