Foam rollers are an inexpensive, super-versatile piece of equipment that can help you with everything from working out the knots in your muscles to sculpting an incredible set of abs faster. In other words, if you aren't already using one, you're missing out on some serious benefits!
Foam rollers have been steadily gaining in popularity over the past few years as part of our culture's love of all things new and all things exercise, but do they work? Maybe.
How? We're not really sure.
Will they work for you? Maybe.
How and why should you use them?
Don't worry if you have no answers to these questions- here are all the things you need to know about foam rollers.
Using Foam Rollers
Foam rollers, when used correctly, can release tension and tightness between the muscles and the fascia (which surrounds the muscle or group of muscles). This tension or tightness is usually caused by repetitive moving patterns - so obviously running, but also resistance training or other repetitive sports/actions. Foam rolling as well as dynamic stretching can help improve flexibility and range of movement, and decrease the risk of injury.
The point with foam rolling is to use your body weight – so if an area really hurts, go gentle on it and support some of your weight elsewhere, using your arms. You can add more "weight" as the muscle relaxes.
Common mistakes to avoid, when using Foam Rollers include