They come in all kinds of colors and sizes: the foam rollers. You’ve probably seen a tube of foam around it in the gym. Are you curious about the function of a foam roller and how you can best use it? No worries, we tell you why a foam roller should become your new best friend.
Foam rolling is a fairly new way of massaging. It is chic said a self-myofascial massage and that means you massage yourself. It is also compared to a sports massage, but it is less relaxing and quite painful. Foam rolls are mainly used by people who exercise a lot and ultimately ensure good results.
When should you use it?
The foam roller is the solution for many sports problems and is also much cheaper than a sports massage. Have you long suffered from a painful point in your body through exercise? Then the foam roller is the ultimate solution. Trigger points, known as the knots in your muscles, to address this. These buttons feel like a lump from the outside and are painful when you press them.
The foam roller is also good for the circulation of the muscles and tissues. In the long run, it provides smoother muscles and you have less chance of muscle pain. Sounds ideal right? It is unfortunately not so rosy, because it is quite painful. This, of course, differs per person and how bad the complaint is. Have you never used it? The first few times it will hurt, but do not give up immediately!
How do you use it?
There are many different ways to roll out certain muscle groups with a foam roller, but the basis is the same. If you are going to use it for the first time, it is important that you do not put all your weight directly on the foam roller. Build it up slowly over a certain period of time by using a little more weight. All exercises are done on the ground and you roll over the foam roller, as it were. The intention is that you roll over the place where it hurts and searches for your trigger point. Did you found it? Then keep rolling around that spot for about ten to twenty seconds, until the muscle relaxes again.
It is important that you do not force it, listen to your body to know how much weight you can put on the foam roller. It may be that it hurts too much to deal directly with all your knots, try to roll around it. You can use the foam roller during warm-up, training or cooling-down.
There are a number of situations where it is better not to use the foam roller, such as:
- Cracks in your muscles
- High blood pressure
- Varicose veins
- Heavy muscle pain (wait for one to two days with foam rollers)
Are you bothered by something and are not sure whether it is wise to use the foam roller? Always ask an expert at your gym.