Using A Foam Roller To Improve Workouts
We had no idea what we were in for the first time using a foam roller. In the workout program P90X2, warming up and stretching before a workout is old news; the new kid in town is a round piece of stiff foam. One friend told us a foam roller is predominantly a runner’s tool, another friend told us that seniors use it to improve their mobility. None of these sounded very promising … what could this thing do differently than stretching?
When improving yourself, simpler is often better. Parkour training is one of a few activities that can be done without any special tools or equipment; just a pair of training shoes and sweats and you’re good to go. When it comes to fitness, save your money by not ordering the latest ‘fitness gadget’ or signing up for expensive gym memberships. The best way to get fit is to work hard. Work really really hard. So why spend hard earned money on a hard foam roller?
When it is used regularly and before exercise, a foam roller benefits and improves your mobility. Using it involves lying on the roller and slowly rolling back and forth to work out the knots in muscles. It doesn’t seem like much happens when using it, but the effectiveness can be noticed afterwards. Muscles will be noticeably more flexible and joints not nearly as tight.
It’s a simple exercise tool with a great payoff but be warned: to release a knot in your muscles you will need to keep the pressure where it is least comfortable. Yes, least. Using the foam roller on tight muscles is like giving yourself a deep tissue massage. Foam rolling exercise sessions will be uncomfortable the first time, but with regular practice you remove major knots and the sessions get easier. Don’t worry if the regular foam roller gets too easy, because you can always upgrade to a torture device called the ‘rumble roller’ which basically has protrusions over the roller so you can work your muscles even harder!
Effective foam rolling is not a quick exercise and to get the benefits you have to hold uncomfortable positions. It’s not something you can whip off in 3 minutes, a 10 to 15 minute session should be a minimum.
We may not support buying many fitness gizmos to help you exercise, but the foam roller provides great benefits you cannot get with just stretching. It’s a recommended addition to any intense fitness routine!