Exercise of the week using foam roller

Tue 5 May 2015

Why use it?

It is advised to use the roam roller for the benefit of muscular self-myofascial release. Myofascial tissue is a thin, strong and elastic connective tissue that extends throughout the human body, providing support and protection to the muscles and bones. This tissue will provide a strong support for muscles and at the same time allow for flexibility.

Healthy myofascial tissue is soft and relaxed, however, trauma and inflammation to the tissue can cause it to become tight and more rigid, causing for knots and adhesions to develop. These are then likely to cause a restriction in motion and lead to the development of ‘trigger points’ that can cause pain anywhere in the body in a form of neck and back pain, muscle spasms and others.

It is essential to release the myofascial tissue every now and again. Breakdown of this tissue will help to increase the flexibility and eliminate any postural defects that might be present (caused by the build-up of mysofascial tissue). Foam rolling will also increase the blood flow to the muscle and activate the body’s lymphatic system, which will then be able to drain away the by-products. 

How to use it

Simply place the affected area on the foam roller. You can find the trigger points on the muscle by moving the roller along until you find an area that is more painful. Once you have found the trigger points, hold that position by slightly rolling out or rocking on the area, continue this for 30 seconds or until the pain subsides. It is essential that you roll slowly, no more than one inch per second.

To use the foam roller properly, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller itself and your bodyweight. When you have finished working on the affected areas, pause for a few seconds and relax as much as possible.

Please note – never roll a joint or a bone, also avoid lower back where possible as these areas can be more sensible and require more advanced attention. Book in or ask a member of the gym team to show you how to use the rollers.