If you play a lot of team sports, participate in individual sport at a competitive level or lead a lifestyle where considerable strain is regularly placed on your body, your muscles will likely become quite tense and in need of loosening.
A great way to help with this is through foam rolling exercises, which involve massaging tense muscles and sore points with a cylindrical roller made from foam. This helps to relieve the tension in your muscles and it has proven to be highly effective in a matter of weeks, provided it is done consistently and correctly.
You may observe that foam rollers come in a variety of colors. This isn’t for purely visual purposes; the color of a foam roller corresponds to its density and difficulty of the workout. White rollers are ideal for beginners, as they are soft and provide a soothing, gentle massage. Rollers with a color such as blue or green are a happy medium between massage and exercise, while black rollers are intended for foam rolling die-hards who seek a firm, high-pressure self-massage. In short, if you’re starting out with foam rolling for the first time, don’t use a black roller or you’ll suffer – a lot.
You’ll also need to exercise with care when foam rolling. That means being conscious of the areas which you’re rolling; never roll on your lower back or directly on any painful areas. Also, don’t roll a specific area for any more than two minutes, or else you’ll run the risk of damaging a nerve. Simply relax and roll targeted areas slowly for 60 to 120 seconds.
The people at Bracken Foam Fabricators created this infographic about foam rolling, providing an excellent beginner’s guide to get you started. Once you stick with it and exercise in the correct manner, you’ll soon see productive results from foam rolling.
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