Wanna know the second best rolls next to cinnamon rolls? Foam rollers.
Foam rolling, or self-myofascial release in fancy terms, is a deep massage for your muscles that focuses on the tissue called fascia. Fascia is the body’s connective tissue and it basically supports and protects everything. Yup, that’s right – EVERYTHING. From your muscle groups to your organs to your nerves and even blood, this tissue can be found from your head down to your toes so it’s best you keep these tissues at its best state.
Whether you’re an athlete, a regular gym-goer, a 9 to 5 office-based employee, or a couch potato, the fascia can tighten and become stiff causing problems such as limited flexibility or movement and going as far as pain.
While there are other methods such as using a lacrosse ball or even just your own hands, the foam roller is a good option. These can vary from low-density to high-density, from short to long, to plain or spiky, but all offering the same benefits for your body:
Before you get to rolling away those knots, keep in mind that it will be painful and uncomfortable in the beginning. This is a deep tissue massage and knots are stubborn muscles that need to be broken. Once these knots have been worked out, you’ll feel more at ease when foam rolling. Don’t let the first try scare you!
Target your quadriceps by lying face down with the foam roller just under your hips and quads, positioning yourself as if you were to do a plank. Roll down your legs, stopping just above the knee and then roll back up. It’s best to shift as much weight onto the foam roller as you can. Also try to rotate your legs inward and outward to hit the inside and outside quad muscles.
To concentrate on your calves, place both legs out and your ankles rest on the foam roller. Place your hands on the side, palms down then lift your hips all the way up and roll over your calves. You can also cross one leg over the other at the ankles for isolation to target one calf. To get the inner part or outer part of the cal, just turn your toes inward or outward.
Focus on your IT band by laying on one side and placing the foam roller just below your hip. Cross your other leg over and position your foot flat on the floor. Placing as much weight as you can into the bottom leg, roll from the hip to just above the knee and back up. Repeat for the other side.
Best believe you’ll feel free as a bird when those knots and tightened muscles are gone. It’s amazing what a single foam roller could do when you learn how to use it. I guess foam rollers might just be better than cinnamon rolls after all...
If you're looking for a foam roller, why not try our Nordic Lifting foam rollers now at 20% off when use our coupon code FROLLER20 upon checkout.
If you already have a Nordic Lifting foam roller, then check out our article on 'How to Make the Most out of Your Foam Roller'.