Foam rollers can be a bit confronting. What do they do, where do the spikes go and what does it do again? Using a foam roller as part of your everyday routine has all kinds of benefits, especially if you’re working out on the reg. Tiffany Hall, Founder of TIFFXO shares everything you need to know about foam rollers.
Foam rollers help flush out lactic acid and toxins, increase blood flow, help prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and prevent future injury. Foam rolling also increases mobility and flexibility, leaving you feeling loose as a goose. Working through trigger points can help headaches, back pain and joint pain while improving spine health.
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Rolling yourself out becomes an affordable alternative to getting regular (and expensive) massages. Plus you can do this from the comfort of your own home. Regularly rolling pre and post workout will help prepare your muscles for the workout ahead as well as assisting with your post-shine muscle recovery.
1. Anyone can (and should) roll on
Don’t think your foam rolling is for exclusive exercise use. If you’re a desk bunny or finding you’re spending a lot of time sitting during the day leaving you sore and exhausted at the end of the day, using your roller can bring you some release.
2. More myofascial release please
Foam rolling offers our bodies a big dose of myofascial release. When we foam it up, we allow contracted muscles to relax, which improves blood and nutrient flow to the area, allowing a smoother motion with your muscles as well as quicker recovery time. To make a long story short, the myofascial release decreases our chance of injury as our body coordination is improved.
3. Prevent your next injury
Using your foam roller increases circulation throughout the body and better circulation means a better range of motion and more effective body movements. Foam rolling reduces the chance of injury because coordination of the body is improved. Meaning? The chances of improper form or movement leading to injury has been reduced significantly. And if you are an unfortunate Ninja who does get injured, learning how to master the roller will also help with your recovery time.
4. See ya scar tissue
Regular rolling will help break up scar tissues by applying targeted pressure, releasing the points where you feel pain.
5. Save those dollars
As nice as it is having regular appointments at the massage place, it’s not sustainable for the wallet to book in every week. Buy yourself a foam roller and start realising the benefits from home on a more regular occurrence.
6. Stress less
Using your roller after exercise can help reduce any post workout stress, with the release of myofascial lowering your cortisol (the stress hormone activated by your workout).
Here’s how to foam roll
Work through each body part for 30 seconds. Roll up 2 inches, and then side to side or continuously roll out the area. You’re not going to feel like a graceful gazelle the first few times you do this and that’s okay too! Keep your form as consistent as possible. Don’t be afraid to take videos and make sure you’ve got your form down.
– Crescent kick lunge improves hip mobility and warms up the legs. For a low impact version try a circular knee to lunge.
– When working your calf and hamstrings, apply pressure by crossing one leg over the other.
– Work through the glutes forward and backwards, or you can try on an angle.
– Don’t forget about quads for all that sitting! Pin the quad on a crunchy bit and perform hamstring curls to work through the knot.
– It’s important to work on those hip flexors for all the kicks you’ve been doing!
– Have ITB? Yup, ouch! For added stability anchor elbow and plant foot.
– For mums – thoracic extensions are great to release those tight breast feeding muscles.
– Spine rolls are awesome for spine health. Tuck your elbows in to move your shoulder blades out of the way for a smoother roll.
Top 3 foam rolling mistakes to avoid
– Rolling directly on where you feel pain
– Rolling too fast
– Spending too much time on the knots