By Amanda Clement
We all get tight and achy muscles, whether it’s from sitting at a desk all day, generally having bad posture, poor exercise form and even through a lack of proper stretching before and after physical activity.
Of course I’m sure we’d all love to have a private masseuse available to us on demand, however a more realistic option is to get yourself a foam roller for a self-administered massage.
Foam rollers are extremely affordable and really easy to get your hands on, and they are an easy mean to improve overall muscle health.
Here are some key benefits:
- Alleviates muscle soreness, especially in those hard-to-get areas
- Helps with muscle recovery
- Aids in injury prevention
- Increases blood flow and elasticity of the muscle tissue, joints and the connective tissue. This helps of the overall well-being of the muscle and increases range of motion
- You will feel more relaxed afterwards
Self-massage with a foam roller is best performed before or after a workout and a foam roller can be used on virtually any sore muscle area. Here are some more common (and often painful) target areas:
· Hip flexors
You can check out a guide here to over 25 effective foam roller exercises.
The key to quality foam rolling is to start to slowly roll your target area(s), moving your body forward and back along the roller. Try and stick with it for 30 seconds, take a break and roll again. Make sure you are breathing throughout the process.
Disclaimer: Yes it does hurt, and the pain can feel somewhat intense. This is completely normal so don’t worry. Just remember the benefits out-weigh the pain.
In my opinion, foam rollers are a necessity to have in the home and at a gym. They are light, mobile and easy to take with you anywhere you go. Try to incorporate this into your daily routine, or at least a few times a week. Roll away your pain and stress and your body will thank you for it.