But does everyone really know how many uses their foam roller has? This blog is to show you the three main categories of foam roller use, and a few examples of application!
Rolling 'knots' or trigger points in your muscles can be very therapeutic, and can help you feel good after a long workout, assist with your stretching routine, and sometimes speed recovery from injuries.
The great thing about rolling as a self massage technique is that you control the pressure, duration and intensity of the session! There are a few ground rules though:
- Rolling should not bruise your skin! If it does, talk to your therapist to make sure you're doing it right. If you need that much pressure to feel like it's working, you might need some treatment
- Start slow and increase over time! The first time you roll, don't do 10 body parts for 3 minutes each! Maybe start with 30 seconds per part, and start with 2-3 key areas. If you get a good response, increase a bit day by day.
- Never roll completely cold! Either heat up with a bit of mild exercise (10-15 minutes walking, jogging or biking), or externally with a hot shower (I like the exercise option better! Gets a deeper heat).
- You control the pressure! If something is too intense, shift your weight off the roller and onto your supporting limb. Start by rolling out one limb at a time, and add in the partner next time!
Here's some ideas of how to roll different parts to get you started;
This principal can be applied as part of a home program, by using the foam roller to stabilize one part, and body movements to mobilize the other part. I commonly prescribe techniques for upper back or shoulder mobilization.
This is a bit more tricky to teach yourself though, and while it's a great home program exercise, it needs to be coached extensively before going solo! If you think foam roller mobilization would work well with your home program, ask your therapist at your next treatment!
Where do I get my foam roller?
If you're in the Guelph area, give me a shout at Moves Fitness, and I can hook you up with a great roller at a great price!