If you’ve ever started intensive physical exercise without a warmup, you may have experienced the kind of pain that comes from a pulled or even torn muscle. Most would agree this is not fun.
Similarly, people who head to the locker room immediately after a workout without any sort of cooldown may not experience the full benefits of their time in the gym, on the track, or wherever else they’ve been getting after it.
That’s why fitness experts advise that you first work the muscles you’re going to use with light reps in addition to some low-intensity cardio to properly prime your body. They also suggest taking a few minutes to stretch afterward to help with muscle stiffness as well as general recovery through improved blood circulation.
However, routines like this may not be quite enough, especially as you get older. Sometimes you need another way to relieve deep-rooted muscle tension. That’s where foam rollers, sometimes also called “fitness rollers,” come into play.
What is foam rolling?Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that involves applying a large amount of pressure to various muscles and their underlying connective tissue (fascia) using a sturdy, cylinder-shaped foam tool. Doing this loosens and lengthens muscles and helps with circulation. This process not only increases range of motion and flexibility but also reduces pain and soreness by aiding in recovery.
Foam rolling techniques to try at home
Depending on how you use your roller and the degree of muscle tenderness, foam rolling may cause discomfort at first. But, by slowly building up your sessions to 10 or 20 minutes each day, you can achieve great outcomes with regards to muscle flexibility and tension relief. Here are a few exercises for different parts of the body to get you started.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Place your hands behind you and use them to support your weight. Put the foam roller underneath your calves. Using your core and hips, slowly move your legs forward and backward along the roller so that it moves from your knees to your ankles and back. Repeat several times.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Place your hands behind you and use them to support your weight. Put the foam roller underneath your upper leg (hamstrings). Using your core and hips, slowly shift your leg forward and backward along the roller so that it moves from your glutes to your knees and back. Repeat several times.
Lie face down with your arms in front of you and your legs straight out behind you. Place the foam roller under your quads. With the support of your arms, move your quads up and down over the roller. Repeat several times.
Sit on the floor with your knees pointed upwards towards the ceiling. Lift yourself up with your arms and place the foam roller underneath your back. Let your hands move backward as you move your body up and down along the roller. Repeat several times.
- Outer Thigh
Lie on the floor on your left side with your legs outstretched. Place the foam roller under your left hip. Using your glutes and hips as support, roll your outer thigh up and down along the roller. Switch sides and repeat several times.
Sit on the foam roller with your left foot placed flat on the floor and your right leg crossed over your left thigh. Place your hands behind you on the floor for support. Shift your weight to the right and use your arms to roll your right glute up and down over the roller. Switch sides and repeat several times.
The benefits of foam rolling on a regular basis
By performing these exercises regularly, you can prevent muscle stiffness and soreness, help quicken muscle strain recovery, and enjoy a more effective overall workout. It’s always a good idea to ask your physician about whether foam rolling can help with specific ailments before you start using one. And if you’re uncertain about technique, don’t hesitate to consult a trainer or other fitness expert, who would be happy to show you!
Why you need a vibrating massage foam roller
If you're ready to start foam rolling, iZen offers a vibrating massage roller that offers relief at a much deeper level. iZen's Vibrating Massage Roller takes the benefits of the traditional foam roller and provides an enhanced experience, delivering a deeper, more effective muscle recovery. It's perfect for those who tend to push their muscles to the limit on a regular basis. So, if you're a CrossFitter, yogi, weightlifter or someone who's always on the move, this 3-speed vibrating massage roller foam option is for you. You can even use it to try the techniques mentioned above.
Find vibrating massage foam rollers and other great body massagers at iZen
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If you have any questions about our products, contact us today. We look forward to helping you find the right product or products to meet your health and wellness goals.