Foam Roller: what it is and what it’s used for

Foam Roller: what it is and what it’s used for

The Foam Roller is one of the most used tools by trainers, physiotherapists and athletes as a complement to training sessions.

What is the Foam Roller?

The Foam Roller is a rubber or foam roller, which stands firm and allows us to perform self-myofascial release using our own weight and agility to “roll” over the area of our body that we wish to “massage”.

You can control the pressure you put on the muscle by localising and emphasising work on the area that causes pain.

The Foam Roller can be considered as a pseudo-therapeutic technique, similar to a massage offered by a physiotherapist or professional masseur , that is, a roller to unload the muscles.

Foam Roller benefits

The foam roller acts as an unloading roller, exerting pressure on the muscle, releasing the tissues that may have created the trigger points.

With foam roller exercises you can obtain the following benefits, among others:

  • Improved blood flow in the treated areas and therefore, facilitating the oxygenation of connective tissues.
  • It help to prevent the formation of muscle contractures and/or attenuate them.
  • Improved range of mobility of a joint.
  • Muscle tension relief, improving recovery.

Foam Roller Benefits

Give yourself a roller massage!

These areas are normally generated in the fascia that encompasses the muscle, and are due as a result of continuous tension, overloads, sudden overstretching, compression due to poor posture, muscle shortening due to posture…

How and when should you use one?

It’s normally used at two key moments: before and after the training session, reducing pain and activating the muscles. Thus, the benefits of the foam roller depend on the moment:

Before training: Improved joint range.

  • As an activation mode, the massage is more superficial and faster.

After training: improved recovery.

  • A deeper massage improving blood circulation to oxygenate the muscles, soften the tissues and relieve possible contractures and muscle tensions.

How to use the foam roller

Fitness Foam Roller.

The foam roller is indicated for musculature and connective tissue around joints, but never directly on a joint.

Exercises with the Foam Roller

Some exercises that we can do:

Areas to work on

  • Glutes.
  • Calves.
  • Abductors.
  • Hamstrings.
  • Quadriceps.
  • Back.
  • Biceps and Triceps.

It’s also possible to carry out sessions using this tool for what is known as yoga foam roller.

How and where to “roll”

  • Calf area: roll, allowing the weight of the body to fall from the ankle area to the highest part of the gastrocnemius (avoiding the popliteal fossa).
  • Back of the thighs.
  • Face down and with your forearms supported, massage from the bottom to the top of the quadriceps.
  • On the back: roll from the lower part (lumbar square) to the upper part of the back.
  • On the side, placing the foam on the hip area, roll towards the upper part of the knee through the tensor fascia latae.
It’s not a substitute for physiotherapy, and if you have an ailment that doesn’t go away, you may be suffering from the beginning of an injury; therefore, the most sensible thing to do is to stop the activity and see a professional.

Where to buy it?

They can be found in any large retail sports shop, and nowadays even in sports fashion shops that offer training accessories.

They are available in different sizes and densities, as well as different surfaces (smooth or textured).

My advice, as a trainer and athlete, is to acquire a long foam roller – 45 or 60 cm – which is better and more comfortable for back exercises. It should also have a smooth surface (more pleasant to use) and a medium density.

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About Isabel del Barrio
Isabel del Barrio
Isabel del Barrio really loves sport, demonstrating it from a very young age and sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge to this day
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