Sponsored by Relax The Back
Who couldn’t go for a massage right now? Massage works wonders for relieving tension and pain and is valuable “you time.” For athletes, massage can treat overworked or injured muscles, prevent new injuries, increase flexibility and joint mobility, and hasten recovery time between workouts.
If that sounds ideal but you don’t have the time or budget for frequent appointments with a massage therapist, consider spending some quality time with a foam roller. Exercise and Therapy Foam Rollers are foam cylinders that bear a distinct resemblance to a pool noodle, only shorter and more dense. Versatile, portable and inexpensive, foam rollers allow you to use your own bodyweight to stretch and apply pressure to sore, knotted muscles: a simple, highly effective way to self-massage.
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release. Fascia is fibrous, connective tissue that binds your muscles, bones, nerves and joints that can form soft tissue adhesions over time or as a result of injury. This buildup can lead to trigger points, tightness and pain. Using a foam roller you can apply direct pressure to stretch and massage these areas, which can:
- increase flexibility, increasing your range of motion for better balance and overall movement
- relieve tightness and pain as you release the myofascia adhesions that can cause soreness
- prevent injury: heighten your awareness of tender spots and prevent tight muscles from becoming injury trigger points
- relieve stress as you loosen up and let go of the tension you “carry” in your connective tissue
- recover faster for your next workout as you increase circulation and roll away pain and soreness.
Whether your soreness stems from injury, working out or just plain working, you can experience the massage-mimicking benefits of foam rolling. You can use a foam roller anywhere on your body, but it works especially well on your calf and back muscles, quads, hamstrings and butt.
Try to make foam rolling a regular part of your routine— ideally, a daily practice. Roll back and forth on the muscle group you’re targeting for 30 seconds to a minute, taking extra time to roll out sore spots. This infographic illustrates how to how to effectively foam roll each muscle group.
(First-timers or those whose muscles are particularly tight may find foam rolling painful. Keep it up! It will get better as your muscles loosen.)
Relax The Back offers Exercise and Therapy Foam Rollers in five sizes, including full and half round shapes. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win a GRID foam roller, designed for athletes of all types. It features Distrodensity pain relieving zones for a more realistic massage experience, is environmentally and travel friendly, and can be used for a comprehensive core body workout!