Foam roller

Photo Note: I make no apologies for the carpet, some patterns are timeless… Many fads come and go; I wouldn’t blame you if you have found a way to switch off to them…but not all fads were created equal.

Today I’m here to talk to you about the ‘foam roller’. A cylindrical object, which one lies on and rolls on, to massage the muscle group in question.

Some may see it as a convenient way to ‘faff’ (my name for procrastinating) before warming up in a session, however the more utilitarian amongst you will know that when used properly, it’s true purpose is to make you more supple and a bit richer…. That right, I did said richer.

Richer than having to pay a Physio’s hourly rate when injuries occur, which they will, if you do not pay attention to maintaining your body. Think of if like time spent preventing injury, or perhaps prehab, to avoid the potential rehab; and any injured athlete could tell you that’s time well spent.

How does it work a hear you think; well it’s effectiveness goes some way towards partially doing what a physio tries to do – (To many caveats? Well, I did say this is the cheap way!) – Self-myofascial release/self-massage, aids recovery through mobilising restricted fascia (the soft tissue portion of the connective tissue in the muscle that provides support and protection) back to normal after overuse or inactivity and which can also help improve range of motion.

So let’s get down to the crux of the matter.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Pick a muscle group: e.g. Glutes
  2. Spend 2 minutes on left side of that area, then another 2 minutes on the other.
  3. Alternate between; applying a wave of pressure across the area – hunt out the tight areas i.e. Painful spots, and; applying direct pressure to those tender areas to work deeper into the muscle tissue.
  4. Move on to target another muscle group.

I know this sounds like a lot of time spent on ‘rolling around on the floor’ (potentially in agony for those less supple creatures) all in the name of prehab, but we all strive for prevention, right?