One of the most amazing pieces of exercise equipment I have and use almost daily is my foam roller.
I primarily use my roller for two reasons, for the knots in my shoulders and leg aches.
I constantly have knots in my shoulders from lifting, from sitting at a desk typing, and this is where I tend to hold all of my stress.
Restless leg syndrome can be a result of many things. I’ve yet to solely identify one reason for why I have it and I’ve also yet to find a way to stop it completely. Rolling my legs before bed makes huge difference in minimizing my restless leg syndrome though and typically when I do this, I fall to sleep much faster.
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What are foam rollers and why are they used
Foam rollers target muscles through a process called myofascial release, helping relax contracted muscles.
Aside from the two specific reasons that I use a foam roller, they are amazing for releasing muscle pain/soreness and tightness and increasing circulation. They also are great for increasing joint range of motion and for adding to your warm-up or cool-down, before and after exercise.
When using the foam roller, depending on the texture of the roller and the tightness of the muscles it can be slightly painful. Any pain is due to the pressure or tension that is being put on the muscle to stretch it.
What are the different types of rollers
As I mentioned, there are different textures you can get when purchasing a foam roller.
A smooth roller provides a flat surface to roll and the pressure is more evenly given to the area you are rolling.
A spikier roller targets more specific spots providing greater pressure and the feeling of more intense focus to muscles.
Aside from the texture, you can manage the pressure by how much weight you put into the roller. This can increase or decrease any pain as well, decreasing the intensity being put into the muscle as it is being stretched.
There are also different lengths of rollers. Of the two rollers I have, one is about 6 inches in width and the other is about 12 inches. The shorter roller is convenient to take places and also helps in getting into more specific areas of the body. The longer roller is nice so that I can target larger surfaces at one time, such as rolling out the entire width of my back.
Reese Witherspoon actually put out an Instagram video a few months back about how she uses a foam roller to help with her mobility, as she is a runner.
I love this video in particular from adidas Runtastic around using a foam roller. The video discusses how to use a foam roller for recovery.
Is a foam roller right for you?
If you are struggling with muscle tightness, soreness or just want to increase your mobility, I highly recommend getting a foam roller.
The benefits of these are amazing and you will instantly feel the difference.
Are you already using a foam roller? What do you like about the roller or do you have any specific reasons for using your roller? Share in the comments below!