Exercises using a foam roller have often been referred to by many fitness professionals as one of the best soothing deep level massage a person could ever give themselves. This art of muscular massage, observed in foam rolling is accomplished by the individual rolling the firmly used foam over the calves, back and thighs loosening the tough layer of fibrous connective tissue which spends across a number of known back muscles. This tissue layer has been observed to occasionally tighten around the back muscles resulting in muscular stiffness in the upper and lower back. Foam rolling exercises have been effectively used to loosen these stiff muscles to improve mobility and flexibility allowing the individual to perform their daily functions freely. Even many professionals athletes use foam roller exercises before their workout as a type of warm up routine to prepare the muscles for the stressful workout.
Foam rolling for the average beginner can be an painful experience. However as the muscles become more accustomed to the exercise the levels of discomfort will decrease. Targeted muscle groups during foam rolling should be exposed to these set of exercises for a period of no more than 30 to 40 seconds.
Emphasis should be placed on tender spots which require more attention by pausing the rolling motion at that specific muscular region for a minimum of 10 seconds. Beginners when deciding to implement foam rolling exercises into their daily workout routine can easily find the average 36 inch foam roller at their local fitness or sporting goods retail shop.
Some of the more commonly used foam rolling exercises include the, hamstrings roll, the calf roll, the shoulder blades roll and the groin roll.
One of the more popularly used foam rolling exercises is the hamstring roll. This exercise is performed by securing the foam rolled beneath the left knee keeping the leg straight. The right leg should be crossed one the left ankle while placing both hands flat on the ground for added support, maintaining the back in a naturally arched position.
The body is rolled forward until the foam roller begins touching the gluteus. Continue rolling in a back and forth motion for the duration of the exercise. The exercise is then repeated using the right leg.
The calf roll observes the exerciser placing the foam roller beneath the left ankle keeping the left leg perfectly straight. Using your right leg, cross over the left ankle again placing both hands on the floor for support while maintaining a natural arch of the back.
The body is then rolled on the foam roller until the roller touches the back of the left knee. Begin rolling in a backward and forward motion. Repeat the exercise using the right knee.
The shoulder blades roll is accomplished by laying on the foam roller face up with the roller positioned directly under the lower back and at the top of the shoulder blades. Both arms should be crossed on the chest, knees bent and feet squarely positioned on the floor.
The hips should be raised slightly above the floor as you complete the motion or rolling on the foam roller in a forward and backward direction over the shoulder blades through the upper and mid-back regions repeating as many times as necessary.