Foam Roller Exercises
The following exercises and content were created by our friends at Engage Health, exclusively for iHealthSphere. Read on to discover why foam rolling should be an integral part of your routine and how to download our handy foam roller exercise worksheet.
What is a foam roller?
A foam roller is a cylindrical object which is used for massage therapy or as an exercise aid, usually in pilates, yoga or core training. Foam rollers can be either smooth
or have ridges on the outside. The ridged version is best for trigger point massage, the smooth alternative is great for all uses.
Ridged foam roller:
Trigger Point Grid surface assists in providing excellent massage for muscles and may also be used for trigger point therapy
Smooth foam roller:
The smooth roller is extremely versatile and can be utilised for pilates, yoga, massage therapy and physical therapy
Foam roller benefits
The foam roller is great for lengthening and e
longating muscles and it is particularly beneficial for office workers, athletes, or those who suffer from tight and fatigued muscles. Foam rolling is also called myofascial release (MFR) and is designed to release the “knots” in your muscles. You might experience knots in your muscles after exercise, as the result of injury or after a period limited muscle use. Foam rolling is an effective method of releasing these knots and reducing discomfort.
How does foam rolling work?
The deep compression of self-myofascial release allows normal blood flow to return and the restoration of healthy tissue. A foam roller allows for this release, much like a remedial massage from a therapist, but without the associated cost. When used frequently and often the foam roller can greatly assist with correcting muscle imbalances, improving range of motion, preventing injuries and enhancing recovery. Foam rollers can be used pre-workout, pre-stretching, or simply to start the day.
Foam roller technique
Roll slowly. When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds and relax as much as possible. You should slowly start to feel the muscle releasing, and after 10-30 seconds the discomfort or pain should lessen. It only takes 10-15 minutes a day to notice benefits.
So get yourself a foam roller and get ready to roll!
The following exercises have been devised to ensure that you get the most out of your foam roller. Follow the instructions carefully so that you get the full intended benefits of your rolling sessions. We have split the exercises into three areas: back, legs and glutes / hips.
Foam roller exercises:
We've also created a downloadable exercise sheet below so that you have a portable guide to print, share and take with you to the gym or to use at home!
About Engage Health
Engage Health is a leading provider of occupational health and injury prevention programs. They specialise in reducing the incidence and severity of soft tissue and mental health injuries through functional and sustainable injury prevention programs.Their Mindfulness-based programs effectively reduce stress within the corporate environment and improve performance within the sporting and athletic arena. Sally Cumming is the director of Engage Health. She is an ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Mindfulness Educator with a passion for creating healthier, safer and more productive workplaces.
These foam roller exercises will help to limit soreness and tightness by increasing blood flow and flexibility.