I’m sure those of you who frequent the gym on a regular basis have noticed those large foam cylinders, i.e. Foam Rollers, whether or not you actually use them, I don’t know. But what I do know is that they are SO beneficial for SOOTHING sore muscles. Every now and again we have those days where we push our sore butts to get to the gym because you know, you feel a little guilty not going. But, then you get there and your like, “nah, just really not feeling it”. That’s when my little friend the foam roller comes in, well I have a Rumble Roller, but more on that beauty later. The Foam Roller can make those seemingly unproductive days, VERY productive.
So at this point your either really confused because you have never noticed the odd shaped foam object hiding in the corner of the weight room, you’ve seen it and just wondered “ who actually uses that thing?”, or you are that person who uses “that thing”. Either way if you’re a total newbie or and avid roller this post is for you. So newbies, basically the Foam Roller is a great recovery tool, it enables you to do a self-myofascial release, essentially giving yourself a massage.
But What are the Benefits?
The Foam Roller offers numerous benefits similar to a massage just maybe not quiet as relaxing, depending on your level of muscle tightness, it may take you a few foam rolling sessions to love it. Trust me, it’s a love hate relationship once you really get rolling hah. BUT the benefits are totally worth it
- Increased Blood Flow: We all know increased blood flow to the muscles means the better chance they have of getting all the nutrients they need to grow.
- Increased Range of Motion: Tightness can impact how well we are able to move certain body parts. By releasing the myofascia, joints may be able to reach optimal range of motion.
- Decrease Risk of Injury: More flexibility, more range of motion, both things will help you from pulling a hammy or injuring a knee. Our joints have less strain when tight muscles aren’t pulling on them.
- Decreases Recovery Time: Back to the point about blood flow, foam rolling will make you less sore since your muscles fuel will be replenished quicker, allowing for a shorter recovery time. Less recovery time means more time to GET THE GAINS.
- Relaxing, Sort Of: After a number of Foam Rolling sessions it will begin to feel like a nice ritual and hopefully be a little less painful. Slowing down and allowing yourself to relax is good for your body and also your mind. Plus we all know stress is not a friend whether on a weight loss or muscle building journey. Too much cortisol = excess fat storage.
Here is the foam roller I use! This is another great option, it is a travel sized foam roller, so you can take it to the gym or even on vacation.
Now onto the Rumble Roller, that thing I mentioned earlier, and yes, this is for you Foam Rolling PROS.
So, you feel like you’ve conquered the Foam Roller, meaning your no-longer squirming with pain while rolling out your lats, calves, or any of the other known painful places. Well, good and bad news, now its time to step it up, with the RUMBLE ROLLER. This really is the workout tool that embodies NO PAIN NO GAIN. This bad boy is like the Foam Roller’s mean older brother. Just did a butt workout yesterday, sit your glutes on the Rumble Roller and feel the pain, I mean muscle recovery. One look at the Rumble Roller and you’ll see why I describe it in such a way. Yes it is still made out of foam but those nobs get right into those hard to reach muscles, just like the knuckles of a masseuse, they get all the knots, even the ones you didn’t know you had. When rolling out your quads you can actually feel the muscle being released, sound effects sometimes included.
Once again heres the rumble roller I have, actually featured in this post too. And heres a travel sized one, and its a little cheaper! If you can’t make up your mind about which one you want to choose, there is this option, which is a package of a travel sized rumble roller and a foam roller!
How to do it? How much pain do I need to get the gains?
Here’s a video you could purchase “Full Body Foam Rolling DVD“, suposidly it is really good for learning how to foam roll and really use your foam roller for maximum benefits or…
There are great videos on YouTube of how to use the Rumble or Foam Roller. But for a easy HOW TOO, I’ll give you an example of using it on your hamstrings.
- Sit down with the area right below your left butt check on the roller, with the right check hanging off. Your right leg should be bent for support as well as your hands.
- Hands start off placed behind you and as you slowing move down your leg adjust accordingly.
- Slowly roll down your leg pausing when ever you feel a sensation of pain and rest there until the pain goes away or at least decreases, usually about 30 seconds and then continue on down until you reach your knee.
- Don’t forget to BREATH, sometime breath can help release your muscles easier, if you tense up because of the pain, the muscle won’t be released as easily.
- Repeat on other side!
Let me know how you do! Or share some great videos you’ve found below!
Bite Me, With Love
Elliot, Brynne, MSN. “Foam Rolling: Total Body Benefits.” Muscle & Fitness. Muscle & Fitness, n.d. Web. 15 June 2016.
Barnes, J. F., PT. (n.d.). What is Myofascial Release? Retrieved October 15, 2016, from https://www.myofascialrelease.com/about/definition.aspx