The foam roller is a foam roller that is specifically designed to facilitate muscle recovery and improve both the amplitude and range of motion of the muscles. How do you do it? The roller – made of PVC – has a series of protrusions along its entire surface that acts on the trigger points to activate the myofascial release of the different parts of the body. In other words, applying pressure to these trigger points relaxes the corresponding muscles, something that facilitates muscle recovery and greater flexibility.
Its use has become very widespread among athletes – runners too – thanks to its low price and its ease of transporting it anywhere. There are different models and sizes, according to the needs of each athlete.
HOW IS THE FOAM ROLLER USED?
When using the foam roller it is advisable to follow the following guidelines:
Apply your body weight
The use of a foam roller is very simple. If we want to act, for example, on the quadriceps, simply place the roller on the ground and apply pressure with the help of your body weight.
Not get to the pain
It is normal that when we apply the roller we have a sensation of slight discomfort, but in no case should it reach the pain. In that case, we would be doing something wrong.
Slow and progressive movements
Don’t be in a rush, spend about 3-4 minutes for each muscle group you want to work on. A good practice is, once you have reached a more painful place, hold the pressure for a few seconds, then increase the pressure for a few seconds (10-20 sec) with gentle up and down movements.
WHEN IS THE FOAM ROLLER USED?
The most common is that runners use the foam roller after training, especially if they have been hard and demanding. However, we must not forget that after warming up it is also a good time to use it. In fact, its use before power workouts has been shown to be clearly beneficial.
Whatever the case, the muscles must be warm for the massage to be as beneficial as possible.
At the muscular level, the foam roller helps to reduce muscle tension and eliminate all the small contractures that may have formed during training, while, at the hemostatic level, it favors greater blood circulation in the muscles that lead to the elimination of lactic acid. and any waste product accumulated faster.
Greater range of motion
Perhaps it is a lesser-known benefit that many brokers do not take into account. But the foam roller can also be used as a stretching exercise that helps you have greater flexibility and a greater range of motion.
There are exercises for any muscle group, however, for runners the following exercises are especially useful:
The quadriceps are a very powerful muscle group that is very important when running. It is always advisable to treat it appropriately after running.
Position: Lying on your stomach, with the roller just below your thighs. The entire weight of the body must fall on the roller to subsequently roll the roller from the hip to the knee.
Duration: 3-5 minutes for each leg
The powerful gluteal muscles help us move with each stride and any small alteration in them could seriously affect our running. Therefore, it is a muscle group that should be treated with some frequency.
Position: sitting on the roller with one leg resting on the knee of the other leg. Using your hands and foot flat on the ground slide back and forth.
Duration: 3-5 minutes for each glute.
The hamstrings are key muscles when especially when you want to run fast or when we must face a hill. Many runners have had hamstring problems at some point in their lives, so pay attention to them.
Position: Sitting with one of the legs extended forward. Place the roller on the back of the thigh and, with the help of the arms, move it gently.
Duration: 3-5 minutes per leg.
The calves receive much of the force that our joints and muscles need to absorb at each impact. In addition, they are essential in the impulse phase. The twins are a very muscular group, very punished and, therefore, the appearance of muscular problems in them is frequent.
Position: Sitting on the floor with the legs extended and the roller under the leg, at the level of the knee. With the help of the arms and hips, move the roller up to the ankles.
Duration: 3-5 minutes for each leg.
The iliotibial band is a tendon that runs along the outside of the leg, from the top of the pelvis to just below the knee. Iliotibial band syndrome is very common in runners and occurs when there is inflammation in the iliotibial band due to continuous friction against the bone on the outside of the hip or knee.
Position: Lying on your side, with your elbows supporting the weight of your body. Roll the roller from the knee to the top of the leg. Use the other leg to vary the pressure exerted and to help you move the roller.
WHICH FOAM ROLLER TO BUY?
If you take a look at the Foam Rollers catalog of any sports store you will see a great variety of sizes, materials and shapes. The type of roller that is right for you will depend on how you are going to use it.
Thus, if you intend to use it only as a medium for small and shallow massages, a smooth foam roller will be worth it. This type of roller is the cheapest.
On the other hand, if you want to use them to recover before training and give yourself deeper and more relaxing massages, you will need a foam roller with small bumps along its entire surface. Logically, this also raises the price.
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