Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that alleviates tightness and trigger points (aka muscle knots) by using your body’s weight against a foam roller. The benefits are many.
BENEFITS OF FOAM ROLLING:
- Increases blood flow and elasticity of muscle tissue, joints, and fascia, the body’s connective tissue, which helps with mobility and overall well-being.
- Reduces inflammation that occurs during the muscle repair process.
- Helps injury prevention by maintaining muscle length and alleviating tension and tightness.
- Releases tension promoting relaxation.
FOAM ROLLING PRO-TIP:
For all the moves, you’ll want to stop wherever it feels tight or tender. Breathe allowing the pressure and stillness to create a release. You’ll note the benefit immediately. When you experience that release, inhale, and then as you exhale, slowly roll your way to another tight spot and repeat.
Want to see some demonstrations of key roller exercises? Watch the video on our Aging Strong Pilates private FB page where I demonstrate effective techniques to melt away your stress and your knots. You can also ask your questions there. I moderate daily.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU USE THE ROLLER?
The foam roller is not just for relieving knots and tension. It can also be used to increase the challenge to certain muscles and improve your postural stabilizers which are important for balance.
Imagine lying on your back with bent knees, the soles of your feet on a roller that’s perpendicular to your body. Doing bridging this way increases the challenge to the muscles in the back of your legs because your feet are on an unstable surface that, without adequate hamstring firing, will roll away from you.
Here’s another scenario:
Lying vertically on the roller with your head to your buttocks supported by the roller- similar to the photo on top, knees bent, feet and fingertips on the floor. Challenge your postural stabilizers by marching in place – lifting and lowering one bent knee. Notice how your balance systems kick into high gear to keep you from falling off the roller.
YOUTUBE FOR ROLLER AND MORE
My Youtube channel “BoneSmart Pilates” has many free videos that support your movement practice. Check out this one which includes 6 Great Foam Roller Exercises to Start Your Day!