With a foam roller, you can efficiently and effectively give yourself a massage, which both optimizes your training performance and helps afterward when the muscles are sore.
Today’s training is complete – and the body is completely exhausted. Your legs sting from fatigue, and your sore lower back begs and asks to take a break on the couch. Still, before you give up, wonder whether it’s worth it to use a foam roller for another five minutes. In any case, your body will love the rolling massage.
See here what a foam roller can do for you; get help buying the right foam roller, and see how you train with the best.
What Does a Foam Roller Do for the Body?
First of all, it triggers blood circulation when you massage with a foam roller, making the muscles less sore. Several studies indicate that the foam roller is effective in relieving and reducing fatigue in the body. Runners, in particular, benefit greatly from the loosening massage that the foam roller can provide after a hard workout.
When Should I Use a Foam Roller?
It is not only after training that it is good to use a foam roller – but it is also before. You can namely roll yourself to a comfortable warm-up and increase the muscles’ elasticity, so they become more flexible and can perform better when you exercise.
Can I prevent injuries with a foam roller?
Another advantage of using a foam roller is that it lowers the chance of injuries if you use it to flex and massage your muscles on a daily basis. Feel free to have it lying in front of your home, so you can easily treat yourself to five minutes of wonderful self-massage in front of the TV in the evening. As a bonus, studies have shown that the brain also feels good from a foam roller. This is because it reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
Which foam roller should I buy?
There are several different types of foam rollers, but before you buy one you may want to consider the following points:
What Type of Foam Roller Should I Choose?
The most common foam roller model has an entirely smooth surface and gives an even pressure over the entire roller. It is perfect for you who have just started using foam rollers and need to get used to the muscles’ pressure. If you do not train very hard, the regular roller can also be an excellent choice to give the body a soft massage, which still dissolves tension.
If, on the other hand, you want to give the muscles a more intense massage, there are foam rollers with irregular patterns that are significantly tougher than the traditional ones. They press more specifically on specific areas and thus give a deeper massage. Many rollers have different ways, so it is best to try until you find someone who presses in the right place.
Should my foam roller be hard or soft?
Whether your foam roller should be soft, medium or hard depends on how deep the massage you are looking for. If you are extra tense somewhere on your body, it may be a good idea to start with the soft one so it does not hurt. As you get used to the massage, you can then switch to the harder version. The same generally applies if you are a beginner because then the message can easily become a little too tough on the body. The better you can handle the technique and the more your muscles get used to the pressure, the harder the foam roller you can use. The advantage of a hard version is that it lasts better in the long run, while the soft one loses its shape more easily.
You can see a foam roller’s hardness based on its color, where white is usually the softest and black is the hardest. However, it may vary by brand.
What size of foam roller should I choose?
If you choose a short foam roller, the advantage is, of course that it is easier to put in the training bag or take on holiday. On the other hand, you can not do as many exercises and reach as large areas on the body as one with a longer model. So think through what type of exercises you want to do, and if you want to use it for, eg the whole back or mostly for small specific areas such as the arms or calves. As a beginner, it can be good with a long foam roller, as it is more comfortable and more stable to use when you do not yet really know the technology.
How do I use a foam roller?
The most essential thing is that you rest on top of the foam roller with the body part to be massaged, and then you roll calmly back and forth. It is perfect for calves, thighs, buttocks, and back.
As you roll, you can feel what you need to do to get down to the depths and then roll a few extra times back and forth over the sore spot. Remember to breathe deeply and calmly in the meantime.
To get the most out of the foam roller for back pain, according to experts, you should do two or three sets, where you roll between 30 and 60 seconds at a time over each muscle. As I said, you can both use the foam roller before training to increase mobility and warm up the muscles, thus improving the performance itself, and after training to reduce muscle soreness.
If you are unsure how to roll properly, you can find an effective foam roller program here, which can help you get started.
Which foam roller exercises are best?
You can use your foam roller to massage all the muscles you reach by resting on the foam roller and rolling back and forth over them. Usually, it is the back and leg muscles that get sore. Therefore, we have collected four foam roller exercises, which access the muscles in the back and legs perfectly.
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