OK, so maybe 'your personal massage therapist 24/7 for $20' is too good to be true, but I consider my foam roller my massage therapist. I can not always afford a $100 massage, so the foam roller is the next best thing. We have a love/hate relationship, but after quality time with the roller I feel GREAT! What is a foam roller? If you are not familiar with a foam roller picture a pool noodle, just larger and more dense. By using your own body weight against the roller you can soothe tight fascia (myofascia release method) and help release tight muscles. Myofacia is made up of muscles and facia (connective tissue located just below the skin). Sometimes the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together and the result is reduced flexibility, soreness, pain, restricted range of motion. It is a bit painful when you start to foam roll, like a deep tissue massage, but soon your body will really start to love the feeling. The foam roller will help increase blood flow and circulation, make you feel more open, and help you break down those tight fibers and scar tissue.
Watch the video below to learn how to use a foam roller:
When? How often? I do not really follow any rule on this. Just foam roll when you feel like it. Before a workout, after a workout, you can do it every day if you wish. If I find a sore spot I will work out that area until it feels a little less tender. Each body is different, test it out and do what feels right for you. Some spots will be more sensitive than others, that does not mean to shy away from them, rather work through the tenderness. Experiment with the foam roller and I bet you can hit more muscles groups that you thought. Let me know how your next foam rolling session goes!