Chances are you’ve witnessed someone using a foam roller in the gym at some point. So why are people foam rolling, and what does it do? We’ve answered some frequently asked questions when it comes to foam rolling.
What Does Foam Rolling Do?
On the most basic level, foam rolling moves fluid. It strives to mimic massage or manual therapy to help your body move better. As you foam roll a part of your body, the act of rolling helps to bring hydration to the fascia, the sheathing that covers all of your muscles individually, and also encases them together in a sort of fascial net. To keep it very simple, hydration equals better movement.
When Should You Use a Foam Roller?
Any time you need to massage something, at the beginning, middle or end of a workout. New recommendations for personal training include using a foam roller at the beginning of a workout, but I particularly feel it’s nice at the end. After you’ve worked out, it feels particularly nice on the upper back, and neck!
Where Can You Use a Foam Roller?
I have foam rollers at home on each floor of my house, and also use them in the gym. With the amount of movement I do, it feels great at the end of the day to do some basic foam rolling, and I feel better and sleep better when I do.
How Do You Use a Foam Roller?
Below are some techniques you can try with the foam roller for various parts of your body.
For the upper back – On the rib cage area, between the bottom and just before you get to your neck, foam rolling can really help alleviate stress and discomfort. I like to support my head while I do this. You can roll side to side, or forward and back. You can also have your bottom off the floor, or keep it on the floor if it feels like too much pressure.
For your neck – Relax the rest of your body, and put your head and neck on the foam roller. Take your head side to side, and around in circles, relaxing the back of your head and neck.
For your upper traps (the area between your neck and shoulders) – Lying on your side, take your top arm, and open and close. As you turn, you will feel that area relaxing and getting the love and attention it deserves.
Foam rolling is a great way to release tension at any time. If you have any questions or would like a personal foam rolling demonstration, reach out to me for a FREE fitness consultation!Set up a Free Fitness Consultation
Written by Melissa Abramovich, ACE CPT, NASM CGT, AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist at Elite Sports Club-River Glen
Melissa Abramovich went into Personal Training and Group Exercise instruction after successfully losing 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Her desire to help others drove her forward into a career helping others to make healthier choices. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and now also a Medical Exercise Specialist (AAHFRP), helping clients with a myriad of health issues at Elite Sports Clubs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and many group exercise related certifications as well.
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