In between regular massage treatments, it is important to maintain your muscular health with self-massage. One great way to do that is through foam rolling. It is an inexpensive way to sustain range of motion and lengthen the muscles while increasing flexibility. The consistent practice of self-massage is one that athletes use to keep their body in top form, improve their workout and dramatically decrease the risk of injury. It is something that every person should be doing to better themselves.
Foam rolling is a technique used to achieve myofascial release. Myofascial release is when you apply a consistent force to soft tissue over an extended period of time. It helps to smooth the muscle fibers while increasing the blood circulation and nutrient flow to the affected area. The rush of fresh blood helps to break up the sedentary blood in the tissue. It provides oxygen and glycogen to fatigued muscles, rejuvenating them.
The risk of injuring oneself is reduced through foam rolling because it helps to decrease the recovery time after a strenuous workout. It helps to break up the lactic acid that gets built up in the muscle tissue during the workout. It reduces inflammation, helps to break up scar tissue and relieve joint stress. Once the muscle fibers are smoothed out with the roller, the various muscles are able to glide past one another with less friction, lessening the likelihood to be damaged or injured.
There are a variety of foam rollers on the market. The color of the roller will depict its firmness. The grey roller is the least dense and best designed for beginners as it allows movement between the muscles, bones and roller. The green roller has a medium firmness and provides a medium massage pressure. The black roller is a hard pressured self-massager, best for the experienced foam roller. The dimpled roller is design to achieve a deeper massage to trigger points. It is best used on the back and shoulders to get a deeper release.
Ask your physical therapist or massage therapist which roller is best suited for you. Inquire which exercises are best for your ailments and learn the proper way to roll to get the maximum benefit.