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Foam Rolling: Deep Tissue Massage at Home

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Have you ever heard of foam rolling?

It’s becoming increasingly popular, especially in fitness circles.

If you’ve ever gone in for a massage, especially a sports massage, you know they can be really beneficial, but also really hard on your wallet. As a result, most people can’t afford to go on a regular basis, despite how much good it would do them to get regular treatment.

Foam rolling provides an excellent deep tissue massage, with real health benefits. It stretches your muscles and joints and massages your body, all at the same time.

The only necessary equipment for this activity is a quality foam roller, which will run you less than the cost of a one hour massage.

What is foam rolling?

A foam roller is a long cylindrical piece of foam that you roll over in different ways, imitating deep tissue massage. You can buy a smooth roller or one with a grid pattern designed to reach trigger points.

HealthStatus.com explains how it works: “Foam rollers help to stretch muscles and tendons and break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. Simple exercises that utilize your own body weight with a cylindrical foam roller allow you to perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia and also helps to stimulate blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

Who can benefit from foam rolling? 

Foam rolling before a workout can help to prepare your muscles for the physical exertion ahead. Foam rolling post-workout will encourage fast recovery.

The practice relieves tension in your body from your physical activities, but it can also help to relieve stress, and can even be beneficial for those who are not active enough.

If you work in an office, sitting in a chair all day can really put a strain on your body. You wouldn’t think so since you’re not moving much throughout the day, but you are creating a lot of physical tension. This can lead to stiffness and actual shortening of your muscles in the long term.

Foam rolling can relieve this stiffness and prevent long-term damage.

Jack Wilson at BreakingMuscle.com explains: “Think of it this way: the muscles that are contracted all day while sitting at a desk have developed knots in them. These knots (or adhesions) limit the range of motion of your joints and muscles, which also decreases circulation. Imagine it like a tangle or knot in a Slinky. Putting pressure on those knots with a foam roller or other SMR tools like a lacrosse ball will help massage the knot out so the muscle group can return to its intended length.

More benefits of foam rolling

Foam rolling can help to prevent sports injuries and can encourage faster recovery if you do get injured. It also breaks up scar tissue and adhesions that can form between your skin, bones and muscles.

Increased flexibility and mobility, pain relief and reduced inflammation are big benefits of foam rolling. A personal trainer can even show you how to use foam rolling as a workout, tightening your muscles and toning your body.

A personal trainer can even show you how to use foam rolling as a workout, tightening your muscles and toning your body.

Things to avoid when foam rolling

Note: If you’re a beginner, you may want to consult someone who is knowledgeable about the correct positions and postures for foam rolling, like a fitness expert or trainer.

3 Basic Foam Rolling How-Tos:

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Glutes:

Place your foam roller on the floor and sit on it. Place one foot over the opposite knee in a figure 4 position.
Shift your weight onto the right gluteal region. Roll in a front to back motion from the top of the pelvis to the bottom of the buttock.
Keep your core engaged and maintain good low back posture throughout the stretch.
Repeat on the other side.

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Hips:

Position your right hip on the foam roller so that you are resting on your hip crease. Extend your right leg
Extend your left leg and press your toes into the floor so that your left hip is up off of the roller.
Roll from the top of your right hip down through the top of your thigh.
Keep your core engaged throughout.
Repeat on the other side.

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Quads:

Lie in a plank position with the foam roller under your thighs, resting on your forearms. Roll through the length of your thighs, up and down.
Keep your core engaged throughout.
Repeat on the other side.

Resources:

https://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/back-shoulder-joint-pain/benefits-of-a-foam-roller-for-tight-muscles/
https://www.fitandme.com/foam-roller-benefits/
https://www.masterofmuscle.com/us/top-7-benefits-of-foam-rolling-every-day/
http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/how-foam-rolling-relieves-the-pain-of-working-a-desk
https://www.masterofmuscle.com/us/top-7-benefits-of-foam-rolling-every-day/
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/common-foam-rolling-mistakes/
https://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/foam-rolling-for-runners-mistakes/

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