Just Roll With It

Done correctly, using a foam roller can act like a free masseuse by breaking down knots and adhesions as well as healing tissue.

Self-myofascial release (SMR), also known as self-massage or foam rolling, has evolved from the once mysterious tool used by professional athletes, coaches and physical therapists to a familiar everyday practice for those at all fitness levels. With its low cost and availability in most sports and fitness stores, foam rollers can be beneficial to just about everyone.

Benefits
Improved blood circulation through the skin, muscles and even tendons and ligaments
More efficient exchange of nutrients and waste products at a cellular level
Lengthening of short or tight muscles, tendons and ligaments
Promotion of optimal spinal range of motion
Alleviation of pain related to contracted muscles

Techniques

  • Relieve Upper Back Pain Place your foam roller on the floor. Lie on your back with the roller positioned under your shoulder blades. Support your skull by locking your fingers together behind your head. Now push off the floor with your feet, until your buttocks are in the air. Still using your legs, push yourself to roll up and down your back – from your shoulder blades to the middle of your back. Keep doing this exercise for a couple of minutes.
  • Soothe Shin Splints Position yourself on your hands and knees, with your arms a few inches ahead of your shoulders and the foam roller under your shins. Now use your hands to shift your weight forward and backward, effectively rolling your shins over the foam roller. Change the angle of the roller to your shins by twisting your body either left or right. This increases the area of contact with the roller, and also the amount of relief. Keep this up for 30-60 seconds at a time for any given angle.
  • Ease Your Glutes and Leg Tension Sit on the floor with the roller positioned just ahead of your buttocks. Steady yourself by placing your hands behind you. Lift your buttocks onto the roller, and roll the length of your glutes (use your legs to push backward and pull forward over the roller). You can change the angle of contact with the roller by slightly twisting your body to treat the entire muscle.
  • Target the Quads Lie face down on the floor. Place the foam roller perpendicular to your leg to target the quadriceps. Roll from the top of your quad to just above your knee.

| by FWTX Staff |