See that foam roller in the corner of the gym? It can do way more than just massage your tight spots.
Do you have a foam roller? Do you use it? Yes us too! We bought one, used it loads in the beginning but now it sits idle in the corner because we’ve never been entirely able to figure out how best to use it. Until now! So we know that foam rolling is great to work out tight muscles and get some head space, but did you know that it has other benefits too?
What’s the point?
It’s not just to poke your IT band you know! Used properly a foam roller is able to stimulate, heal and restore the fascia. What’s the fascia? Well, the fascia is the web of tissue that connects muscles to joints. It’s also where the lymph nodes and nerves sit, which means this is where pain originates and is communicated to the brain. So your fascia is kinda important. If you want to know what it looks like think of the stringy white stuff you see when you cut into a chicken. That’s fascia!
What are the benefits?
How long do you have? By stimulating the fascia, foam rolling also helps improve circulation which flushes toxins from the body. It also helps to reduce inflammation and lubricate joints. Think of it as a giant, passive stretch.
How to know if it’s working?
Foam rolling should hurt, but it should hurt in a good way. It may take a while to find the right roller and the right technique, but once you hit thats wee spot it will hurt in a really delicious way. if it really really hurts, then you’re not doing it right.
And remember, never roll your cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (lower back) as the discs there don’t have enough muscle to protect them.