Keep on rollin’, baby
You know what time it is.
Ah Limp Bizkit! What a band hey! But also massive fans of the increasingly popular foam roller (*not confirmed). So what is all this hype about foam rollers?
Foam rollers are a self-treatment tool athletes use to improve their recovery and general wellbeing by releasing trigger points and muscular adhesions. They also play a role in improving your body’s range of motion. And now these gems of compressed foam are super popular and found in most gyms, cross fit boxes and allied health clinics. They come in a variety of sizes and textures including:
- Basic Foam Roller
- Deep Tissue Massage Roller
- Vibrating Foam Roller
- Deep Tissue, Massager
- High Density Supreme Roller
- Soft Density Foam Roller
- 2-in-1 Foam Roller
- Muscle Foam Roller
- Textured Foam Roller.
All of the above have varying resistance levels and work the muscle differently, so choose what feels right and works for you.
So how/where do I use it?
Foam rollers can pretty much be used all over the body from head to toe. However the most common sites are the hamstrings, quadriceps, ITB (iliotibial band), the back and calf muscle.
When you first start using a foam roller it can feel a bit uncomfortable so it’s better to ease in and go slow, rather than start too intensely. Over time, as you become more familiar with your roller, you can ramp up the intensity and see how your body responds.
You do, however, want to feel an amount of discomfort when using the roller, so you need to work up to a ‘good pain’ level. Pushing past this level into real pain won’t speed up results though. All rolling too intensely will do is increase your risk of injury by bruising the muscles.
Follow these steps to use your foam roller:
- Pinpoint the sore or tight area of your muscle.
- Control your body as you slowly lower the targeted area until just above the roller.
- Lower your body onto the foam roller until you reach a point of discomfort and hold it there.
- Hold for 20–30 seconds.
- The pressure alone provides benefits, but you can also roll slowly back and forth to further stimulate the area.
- Continue to move slowly along the muscle with the roller, stopping and holding in the areas that need more focus.
As you’re using your foam roller, experiment with slight adjustments to your body position in order to find the most effective technique. Also, remember to breathe.
So that said….
Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’.
About the Author:
Mick is a highly experienced Myotherapist of 11 years. He has spent the majority of his professional career working in high performance teams in the world of elite sport.
For seven years Mick worked as the Head of Myotherapy at the Western Bulldogs Football Club (AFL). In more recent times he has worked as the soft tissue co-ordinator for the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Club in the super rugby competition, as well as the game day Myotherapist for the Sydney Swans Football Club (AFL).
Mick has also spent the past three years working in a busy private practice in Melbourne.
A skilful practitioner, Mick’s passion is in the treatment of all sporting injuries from the elite level through to the every day athlete.
Outside of work, Mick enjoys playing basketball, going to the gym and chasing his two young sons.
Mick works from our Shearwater, Launceston and Ulverstone clinics