Benefits of the Foam Roller
The foam roller is quickly gaining popularity amongst elite athletes, fitness novices, and rehabilitation clients alike. Here at ABC Pilates, we hear all the time from our clients how tight their muscles feel, often times so much so that they’re limited in their Pilates practice. So, is the foam roller the hidden key to your workout success?
There are many great reasons why I believe the foam roller should be an addition to everyone’s fitness routine. The main benefit is that the foam roller offers myofascial release and a self-massage that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissues, which helps to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles. Some of the other many benefits include:
- Release muscle tightness
- Break down of the knots in your muscles
- Reduce pain and tension
- Increased range of motion
- Better balance
- Decrease recovery time
- And, some say that it even reduces the appearance of cellulite!
I believe strongly that anyone that is engaged in any type of exercise regime should take the time to foam roll! It can add an extra 10-15 minutes to your routine, but if you do take the time to roll, the benefits are substantial.
Seven Tips for Correct Foam Roller Use
Here are my 7 tips to ensure you’re using the foam roller correctly (Yes, you can roll wrong!) and getting the maximum benefits:
- Perform the roller exercises slowly and mindfully… most people roll too fast.
- Spend only about 1 minute on each area, especially an area with a lot of discomfort or pain.
- Do NOT roll directly over joints or bony regions.
- Breath with the movements.
- Do not roll over your low back; I see people roll this area often, but it can actually cause more harm than good.
- Perform the exercises with correct form and posture.
- Use your core throughout the exercises.
- Roll on a regular daily basis.
ABC Pilates offers a Foam Roller/Core Fusion class so our clients can learn how to roll correctly and strengthen their core. By performing Pilates-based exercises using the foam roller, our clients say they have seen tremendous benefits; this is a class that really “hurts so good.” Let’s roll!
ABC Pilates Studio Manager & Instructor