Foam Roller – What is it?
In this post, I’m going to explain the operation of the foam roller, so that you know more about this great utensil.
WHAT IS THE FOAM ROLLER?
The Foam Roller is basically a rubber roller or foam-rubber (we can also find other materials), but it remains firm, and allows you to perform the technique known as myofascial self-release, using our own weight and agility, to “roll” around the area of our body that we want to “massage”.
BENEFITS OF FOAM ROLLER:
Among the positive effects that can cause the use of Foam Roller we can find:
– Improve circulation through the skin, fascia, muscles, and even tendons and ligaments. It increases the supply of nutrients to these areas.
– Due to the effective blood supply, a better exchange of nutrients and circulating waste products caused by cellular metabolism and enlarged by physical stress will be achieved.
– Correct certain problems of mobility, flexibility, because it can reduce the problems of shortening muscles, tendons and ligaments. Within this group, we can find hip flexors, ligaments such as the iliotibial band, psoas, among others, which are usually “shortened” either by the genetics of the subject, or by continuous muscle work (muscle tension) without the introduction of proper stretching exercises (reduction of tension).
– Correct possible muscular imbalances due to shortened muscular limbs
– Generate a greater range of muscle movement, decompressing areas that are under tension, or for lack of liberation work in stretching.
– Improving the work of stabilizers
– Increased flexibility
– Avoid possible muscle contractures and injuries
– Stress reduction by increasing the feeling of relaxation after the massage
HOW DOES THE FOAM ROLLER WORK?
It acts by exerting pressure on the muscle, releasing the tissues that may have created the trigger points. These zones 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 bad posture, muscular shortening due to posture…
HOW IS THE FOAM ROLLER USED?
– We begin by making a pressure in the area or region to work, locating for example a large portion (the legs) and we will introduce small pressure points along it, keeping the position a few seconds. Then, “roll” more extensively, covering most of the area.
– Special attention should be paid to the areas closest to the joints, where there is a greater concentration of tendons, and therefore weaker areas. Reduce pressure in these parts.
– At the end of your training, as a method of reducing pain and promoting better blood circulation of tissues, we place the target muscle area (pain) on the roller (here we will lie on the floor).
– We will make continuous pressure on the pain point for about 10 seconds, then “roll” slowly over this region, about 20 seconds.
BEFORE OR AFTER TRAINING?
If you use it before training you will warm up your muscles, improve your range of motion and prepare for training. If you use it afterwards you will relax the muscles and improve recovery. You can also use it in sessions outside of training.
MISTAKES TO AVOID:
-Error 1: You focus on a single point
The twin bothers you and you roll over the area over and over again. Wrong. As I have explained throughout this guide, it is common that the origin of the pain is far from the painful area.
Make a global plan. Massage nearby muscles to gradually get closer to the focus of the pain. It is recommended to make an integral plan for the lower and upper train.
-Error 2: You spend too much time in the focus of pain.
For the desire to release tension massages excessively the most painful areas. It is good to focus on the trigger points, as I mentioned before, but if you exceed what is reasonable you can worsen the problem. Your body needs time. Remember, a self-massage of 60 to 90 seconds repeating between 2 and 4 times is enough. Don’t forget to focus also on areas near the focus of pain.
-Error 3: Very fast wheels
Rolling is not pleasant, especially in the first few weeks. That’s why those who are less accustomed to this training accessory tend to roll too fast.
That’s not a good idea. Go slowly. Stop for a few seconds at the most sensitive points. Don’t be in a hurry, and remember, moderate and bearable pain…
-Error 4: You endure too much pain
A typical case. You roll over the iliotibial band and you feel a tremendous, unbearable pain. You shouldn’t do it.
It starts in the adnexal muscles, such as the gluteus maximus or the fascia tensor. Then, put as little weight as possible on the iliotibial band (place one foot on the ground), maintain light pressure on a sensitive spot for 20 seconds and roll to the next sensitive area. You can apply this method to other muscle groups in which you feel a lot of pain. As the days go by the area will gradually relax and allow you to apply more pressure.
-Error 5: You have a bad overall posture
I’ve repeated it several times in this guide. Bad posture can cause you more problems than you intend to solve.
Be well informed about the correct way to execute the exercises. Ask someone else to correct you, or better yet, do the exercises with the advice of a professional.
-Error 6: You are not constant
Even more habitual than the previous ones. You buy a foam roller, you use it for three weeks, maybe four weeks, improvements, but you get tired and give up.
The foam roller is boring, but should be an element in your training. So are strengthening exercises, or warm-ups. Create the habit, after the first 3 or 4 weeks of “adaptation” put on a plan and follow it. Use it often, before or after training.
PS: Would you like me to tell you which are the best stretches with foam roller? Let me know.
A cordial greeting and we continue to top!