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  • Writer's pictureAlex Nichols

Foam Rolling

What is it for? How do you use it? Why did you buy it? Does it make a good door stop?

There are a huge number of people who own a foam roller (myself included) but why did we buy them in the first place? Chances are we bought it because we had a small little niggle somewhere, we have seen some cool things on the internet and think that they will all of a sudden fix our muscles, we won’t ache and suffer from the dreaded DOMS after exercise. Reality it is a weird looking doorstop or just something chucked away in the corner of the room! Jo

With this little post hopefully it may now mean that you can dust it off and give it some use. They are a very good tool to use to help maintain good healthy muscles. They will not be able to fix damaged muscles. If a muscle is in a fatigued state then they will be able to help flush the muscles to help maintain healthy muscle function.

The way that they work is by rolling on the foam roller you are working with a layer of Fascia by manipulating it and trying to therefore bring fluid back in to it in turn allowing it to flow over the body a little better. As well as working with the muscle and the muscle fibres with the direction of blood flow. With muscle fibres running in different directions throughout the body each muscle can be rolled differently. Just because you have got a foam roller this doesn’t mean that you will be in perfect condition with no muscle adhesions in the body. As there will still be some as with a foam roller you are unable to work the muscle deeply transversely across the muscle fibres. However it does mean that it will be a whole lot better than someone who doesn’t use a foam roller or stretch

How long should you foam roll for – No one really knows exactly how long you should or shouldn’t foam roll for. With every persons muscles being in a different condition it is hard to say for certain exactly how long you should roll or the routine in which you should roll. Ideally you would want to roll the muscle or muscles until they become pain free. That doesn’t mean keep rolling them until they become numb! Personally I would roll for around 4 mins maximum per given muscle group. If rolling my whole body then if I had a particularly sore area I’d maybe go back to it again at the end.

When should I use it? - Again there is no distinct time of when you should and shouldn’t foam roll. I think you should possibly use it before you workout as this will assist you with your warm up as well as increased range of motion through selected muscle groups. It would also be helpful to use post workout to help flush the muscle out from the lactate build up during exercise. Again there is no bad time to use it when you do use it it’ll help to some degree whether that be recovery or increased range of motion.

If you have any questions drop me a message via the website or email and I will do my best to get back to you


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