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How to use a Foam Roller

By: | Tags: , , | Comments: 0 | November 6th, 2015

For those of you who do not live under a rock I’m sure you have either used, seen or heard of a foam roller in the past. Have you ever been shown how to use one properly though?

No I didn’t think so.

Today I have recorded a nice video to give you the 4 fundamental ways of using a foam rolller so that you can start to enjoy some of the benefits at home.

Enjoy!

 

HOW TO USE A FOAM ROLLER

 There is mass debate amongst the therapy professions as to whether these techniques have true MECHANICAL (direct on the tissues) effects or whether the effects work on a NEURO-PHYSIOLOGICAL (indirectly through the nervous system) mechanisms. This is beyond the scope of this article and can be explored at a later date but actually it is neither here nor there. It is the benefits we are after and these techniques are plentiful in that respect.

TRIGGER POINTING

Trigger points, also known as knots, areas of soft tisue tension etc are tender/tight areas of muscle tissue. You can use the foam roller to decrease the sensation and tightness in these ‘trigger points’. Here’s how……

  1. Place the foam roller under the area of tension.
  2. Use another part of your body to add extra pressure and increase focus of application.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds – 1 minute and release.
  4. Repeat as necessary for same part of muscle, and other areas of tension.

PIN AND STRETCH

Use this great technique to restore the sliding surfaces between muscle, fascia and skin. This is how its done…..

  1. Place the foam roller under the area of tension.
  2. Use another part of the body to add extra pressure and increase focus of application.
  3. Put the joint below the fixed area through its full range of motion (10-20 reps).
  4. Move the roller to another area of muscle and repeat.

CROSS FIBRE ROLLING

Side to side rolling over the area of tension in the muscle. Great for adding a slight stretch to the muscle, also helping to restore sliding surfaces. Done like this….

  1. Place the foam roller under the area of tension.
  2. Use another part of the body to add extra pressure and increase focus of application.
  3. Rock side to side in a slow and rhythmic manner.
  4. Repeat as necessary.
  5. Move to next area in need of attention.

JOINT ARTICULATION

This one is slightly different from the others and has a focus on increasing spinal segmental range of motion. Something that is much needed in the modern world. Details below….

  1. Place the foam roller under the middle past of your back whilst lying on the floor.
  2. Keep your abs tight (to avoid lower back extension) and bring your arms through full range into full flexion (fullt straight above head).
  3. From this position, hinge over the foam roller and hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Return to neutral.
  5. Repeat for each segment of the middle back.

 

And that’s it folks…..

The 4 ways I use the foam roller to manage pain, muscle/joint tension and avoid injury.

HOMEWORK

Go out and buy a foam roller and start exploring…..

I recommend the Muscle Mauler

It’s the one I use at home. Well worth the £22ish investment in my opinion. However there are also other cheaper alternatives available through amazon which serve their purpose. The roller from the video can be picked up for around £15.

And if anyone asks you how to use a foam roller, point them in this direction.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

 

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