Foam rollers are large logged shape pieces of foam that can be placed on the floor and used to rollout muscles before or after an exercise. Some of the many benefits of foam rolling include improving circulation, increase blood flow, release muscle tightness, increase range of motion and decrease pain. One Research article showed that just 2 minutes of foam rolling was able to increase range of motion by up to 10 degrees. Another article showed that the use of a foam roller reduces arterial stiffness and improves vascular endothelial function. Foam rollers work by breaking down fibrous tissue or adhesions that may be causing you pain, stiffness and tension. Another great benefit to daily foam rolling is that it can actually improve core muscle strength and thus balance. Just like a fitness ball, a foam roller is unstable. While you lay with your back on the foam roller you are actually causing your abdominal muscles to engage. While using foam rollers to help relieve yourself of tension and pain it is best to use them daily to help prevent these issues before they even start.
Click here to check out our large selection of foam rollers that you can use daily while at home, on the road, or even at your office. Take not rollers come in all shapes and sizes. Some rollers are harder while others are softer. For instance the STI rumble roller is contoured for more of a deep tissue roll. Be sure to also look below for some common exercises to get you started with your foam roller. Here are a couple of tips to consider before getting underway; just because we have pain in a certain area it is not always best to roll directly over that area. Also it takes time for your brain to tell your muscles to relax so make sure you take your time, don’t roll to fast and enjoy the relaxation.
- Shoulder Blade Rolls – Lie face up with a foam roller under your upper back, at the tops of your shoulder blades. Cross your arms over your chest. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so they’re slightly elevated off the floor. Roll back and forth over your shoulder blades and your mid- and upper back.
- Glute Rolls- Sit on a foam roller with it positioned on the back of your right thigh, just below your glutes. Cross your right leg over the front of your left thigh. Put your hands flat on the floor for support. Roll your body forward until the roller reaches your lower back. Then roll back and forth. Repeat with the roller under your left glute.
- Hamstring – Place the foam roller underneath your upper hamstring muscles below your glutes. Cross your right leg over your left leg and roll the foam roller down from your glutes to right above your left knee. Do 10-12 slow and steady passes. Repeat on the other side.