October 19, 2017

Is the Foam Roller for you? By Nicole Bryan

For an investment of just under $25.00 a Foam Roller offers provides many purposes and benefits to the everyday exerciser. Massaging muscles, offering a balance component to workouts, as well as providing an abdominal challenge and stretching are just a few of the uses. You’ll find varying lengths, however a 6 inches in diameter and 3 foot length foam roller is the most versatile for many. Proper body mechanics are important when using the foam roller. This means pay attention to your body position as you’re working on the roller. As always, consult your physician before adding in this or any new component to your exercise regime.

Rolling on the foam roller should not be painful. It’s important to keep the roller moving much like a massage. Roll up and down your muscle only. For example, place the foam roller perpendicular to your body just under your calf or lower leg muscle. Position the roller to be under only one leg at a time. Sit on the floor, stay seated on the floor or for more pressure on your calf muscle, lift your body up on to the roller. Roll up and down your calf muscle about six inches of total movement. Keep the duration of your rolling limited to less than a minute at first.

The foam roller can offer a balance challenge to your workouts. Because of the round shape, your body must work to stabilize the roller. For example, lie on the roller face up lengthwise with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Now move your feet and knees together and place your arms across your chest. Hold for 10 seconds before returning your hands to the floor to help balance.

Adding an abdominal challenge to your workout using the foam roller provides unaccustomed work for your muscles. For example, begin on the floor on your hands and knees. Place the roller under your knees. Pull your belly button up toward your spine, pull your shoulders down. Hold your torso and the roller in place. Now lift your right hand up off the floor and hold for five seconds. Return your right hand to the floor, and lift your left hand up off the floor and hold for five seconds.

Stretching on the foam roller allows gravity to assist your stretch without allowing any compensatory patterns. For example, lie on your back lengthwise on the roller. Keep both knees bent with your feet flat on the floor. Now reach both arms straight out along side your body and roller with your palms up.

Check out this super versatile and multi purposeful piece of exercise equipment next time you are at the gym. Consult a Fitness Professional to outline specifics for you and your workout program. Roll, improve balance, challenge your core and stretch for posture all on one foam roller!

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