05 Feb Foam rollers provide a great way to loosen up muscles
One of the best-kept secrets for improving flexibility is the foam roller.
After a light warmup of 5-10 minutes, such as walking and-or using an elliptical machine, grab a foam roller.
Foam rollers are available at specialty fitness equipment stores such as At Home Fitness.
A foam roller is a product that lets people give themselves a massage, which is also known as self-myofascial release or SMR. A foam roller is actually a form of soft tissue therapy that many people pay top dollar to get from a massage therapist. Massage is often used by athletes and recommended by physical therapists.
Some people call Self-myofascial release the “poor man’s massage” and I agree with that assessment. Myofascial release is a hands-on technique that therapists use by applying a strong dragging force across layers of soft-tissue in the body. Eventually, the body will “release” the tissue and flexibility between those muscles surfaces is achieved.
The foam roller can obviously never completely replace a therapist, but it’s a great substitute.
If you’ve had pain in certain areas a foam roller can help relax the contracted muscles, thus allowing an increase in blood flow to the affected areas. The pain or stiffness can be greatly reduced or even eliminated over time.
Foam rollers can improve workouts or even overall athletic performance in many areas. Many people who are involved in yoga and pilates also incorporate foam rollers into their stretching routines.
Among the muscles that can most benefit from foam rollers are calves, quadriceps and lower back, as well as loosening up the Achilles’ tendon.
There are a number of different foam rollers on the market that vary in stiffness. Talk to a sports medicine doctor, trainer or trained fitness store specialist for more information on foam rollers and workout plans that you can use them for.
At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at email@example.com