For today’s issue of Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wednesday, I’ve been thinking and thinking and then it dawned on me: a foam roller!! These are hard foam and are a little slice of the most painful heaven you can imagine.
They come in different sizes and some even have knobs on them to enable you to really dig into that muscle.
The point of these is “myofascial release”. Now, I’m not a medical doctor, nor am I a nurse, but I can read and this basically involves sustained pressure to the muscle and connective tissues that can help increase range of motion. Think of the foam roller as a personal massage therapist that you control.
By using your own body weight, you can apply more or less pressure to various muscles. In our box, we often use a barbell and a partner which is great for those harder to hit areas and the pressure is vey localized. But I find that other folks often are. It necessarily in turn with where the soreness is, unless I give them some indication. But with the foam roller, you are the one doing all the moving and you know exactly where you are sore.
A lacrosse ball or other smaller item can be used to help get into those hard to reach places and help hit some of those smaller muscles that a large foam roller sometimes doesn’t hit as accurately.
I will add that what I call the rumble roller (the one with the knobs) digs a lot deeper, but sometimes hits areas that don’t need rolling and I, personally, find this to be very painful. But, when I have large muscle groups (think back) that I want to roll, the rumble roller is perfect.
Mine of the best aspects of a foam roller is you can do this while watching TV. You don’t have to make a special appointment. And once you have the roller, a lacrosse ball and other hard plastic balls of various sizes, your monetary investment is complete.
One of the disadvantages of the foam roller is the pain. Not that it causes pain, but that sometimes you simply need to go deeper than you are willing. Our coaches are excellent at know how hard to push down on the barbell; a professional massage therapist is trained to really find those spots that need extra work and work them. These things often push us past where we might push ourselves.
That beimg said