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Do Foam Rollers Actually Help?

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Do Foam Rollers Actually Help?

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Have you ever heard of a foam roller? It is a piece of workout equipment that is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using a foam roller, as well as specific movements to use with them. 

What is a foam roller?

The foam roller itself was originally created by Moshe Feldenkrais who was a practitioner that believed in pain recovery through focus on how you move. In 1987, a physical therapist began to use the roller for self massage, and from there, the use of foam rollers spread. It can be explained as a form of self-myofascial release, which is a technique used to treat the soft tissue system, often involving massage. So basically, to foam roll is to massage one’s tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

 

How and when to use them

Studies show that the best results occur when one uses the foam roller for 30 to 90 seconds on each muscle combined with static stretching. If it is used before a workout, it activates the muscles and improves range of motion. When used after exercise, it it decreases soreness, relaxes muscle and, helps the body to recover faster. Rollers come in many different firmness and sizes. The firmness (often identified by the color) can range from soft to firm, soft being best for beginners.

 

Pros

  • It stretches the muscle really well
  • It’s a way to save money as it allows for one to massage themselves
  • Prevents injury
  • Relaxes muscles and allows for faster recovery

 

Cons

  • It may hurt a lot during the first use
  • It’s hard to carry it around
  • Can be expensive
  • If used wrong, it may tighten the muscle even more

 

Foam rollers have definitely proven to be a useful workout tool, where they assist the muscles and can be used both before and after a workout. Please let us know in the comments if you think foam rollers are not helpful or helpful. Do you use foam rollers too? If so, what kinds of workouts do you do with them?

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