Did you consider parking in the handicap stall in the 48 hours following that half marathon you ran because your muscles were so sore? Or do you simply want to train harder when you hit one of our on-site fitness centers to get ripped for an upcoming beach vacation? If so, you should incorporate a foam roller into your workout routine.
Even if you aren’t a hardcore fitness fanatic, you can still benefit from using a foam roller. Ease the pain in your calves from wearing those sky-high stilettos to the club on Saturday night or sooth a sore back and neck after logging extra hours at the office. It only takes about 10 minutes a few days per week to find relief.
Feels So Good
Foam rolling offers many of the same benefits of frequent massages, breaking up fibrous tissue to increase circulation and flexibility and reduce muscle inflammation and soreness. This decreases recovery time between long runs or other intense training sessions.
What You Need
Before you can start enjoying the benefits of foam rolling, you need a roller. You can pick up a good quality one for around $20-$30 at most sporting goods stores. There are also a wide variety of rollers offered online. The firmer the foam, the longer the roller will last. Shorter rollers measuring in at a mere 13” are ideal for those who frequently travel, but standard-sized 36” rollers offer more versatile applications.
Rollers typically work better on carpeting or a yoga mat. This prevents the roller from slipping out from under you as you perform the exercises.
As with any new physical activity, it is a good idea to start slowly and work your way up longer, more difficult routines. Myofascial release is painful if you start off too strong. Click here for a list of exercises to soothe different muscles, including your biceps, quads, hamstrings and lats. Experts recommend using a foam roller every other day for the first few weeks—ideally before working out—and then increasing to daily use.