A Must Have

by in Beachbody, Fitness February 16, 2012

Have you met the latest and greatest in the world of health and fitness?? If not, you need to get acquainted with the foam roller!

The foam roller comes in several sizes and colors; usually a three-foot tube of foam, about 6-8 inches in diameter.  This inexpensive piece of equipment is amazing and in my opinion, everyone should own one.

Do you get out of bed in the morning feeling stiff and/or sore?  Do you have chronically tight hamstrings or calves?  Do you experience lower back problems?  How about flexibility – do you consider yourself closer to a rubber band or broom stick?  Do you love massages, but either can’t find the time to get one or don’t have the extra money to spend? Do you want to stay young by increased range of motion in all of your joints?

Well,  go out and buy yourself a foam roller!! And here is why…..

Our bodies have an entire system of connective tissue that runs from head to toe. I am not just talking about ligaments and tendons but the softer, smaller attachments called fascia; forming a “spider web” of connective tissue running up, down, in, out and through our muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels.

Many times when we experience pain or stiffness from injury, inadequate stretching or neglecting proper exercise it is because the myofacial system is forming adhesions.  The fascia running through our muscles can get stuck together causing scar tissue. Sounds painful, right?

Simple solution – the foam roller! 

There are abundant videos online about ways to use the foam roller; but with a little experimentation and some patience, anyone can learn how to use it within about 10 minutes.  Foam roll consistently for a couple of weeks and you will absolutely notice a difference in how your body feels!  Not only do I include foam rolling into my workouts, but I have made it a habit to foam roll at night before I crawl into bed to read or watch TV and wake up feeling fabulous.

Keep in mind that when you start foam rolling, you want to sit on the “hot spots” or the points that cause you to twinge. It may even cause you to break a sweat or scream out loud, but stick with it. Don’t just roll over those spots because it is uncomfortable! Staying on those spots is what breaks up the adhesions – “sit” on them, count to ten and then continue. Embrace the pain – it will change your life!