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Treat Yourself to a Massage with a Foam Roller

By: Steve Avanzino, Professional Personal Trainer

Want to relieve stress and massage out those sore muscles? Do you ever wake up stiff with limited flexibility? Do you want to prevent injuries to your muscles? Has the economy caused you to cut out your weekly massage from your masseur? Well the solution to these concerns is to invest in a Foam Roller! It is one of the simplest pieces of fitness equipment that can reduce tension and improve strength and flexibility. The actual Roller comes in several varieties, from cylindrical to flat bottomed to help your needs!

  Treat Yourself to a Massage with a Foam Roller

How do foam rollers work?

You can perform self myofascial release on the Foam Roller by laying your body weigh on top of the Roller; this will allow you to apply pressure to the muscle areas that need relief. When applying pressure to the Foam Roller with your own body weight, it will stretch out the knots and increase the range of motion. You can stretch your muscle tissue to the point of mild to moderate discomfort, if your goal is to improve your flexibility. As a Personal Trainer, I have my clients use the Foam Roller for several different reasons. During our training sessions, a client may use it for stretching, to improve core strength, posture improvement, balance work, stability, overall strengthening, and lengthen the tension relationship imbalances.

Another Benefit of Foam Rollers!

The Foam Roller can find trigger points and decrease muscle tension and spasm through-out your whole body. It provides a deep-tissue massage that gets the blood flowing. Areas that can benefit from the Roller are endless! Ankles, knees, hips, neck, shoulders, back, and it can help alleviate pain almost anywhere you feel tight joints or knotted. Making the Foam Roller a part of you exercise routine can help prevent injury and improve performance during your athletic activities. It is an amazing tool!

Treat Yourself to a Massage with a Foam Roller

Target Training with a Foam Roller

This tool just doesn't relieve pain and tension, it also can be used as a great workout piece of equipment. In the article, Target Training (2007) they describe an excellent workout plan for anyone who wants to train with their Foam Roller, and to strengthen their lower body. The Target Training program covers different exercises that will work your legs, butt, quads and hamstrings with using the Roller. You will not regret having this Roller or performing this routine.

Helpful Guidelines for Foam Roller Exercises

  • Healthy muscle tissue can be stretched to about twice its resting length, so rolling gently on the Roller will help execute a release for tight muscles.
  • As you move on the Roller, adjust tension so you can remain on the trigger point until the knot or pain will begin to dwindle. Experimenting with the Foam Roller is the best way to learn what is right for you.
  • Keep in mind that you always roll towards your heart because there is a risk of damaging blood vessels. Apply pressure to the muscles gently until your body is aware of the movement.
  • There are different types of Foam Rollers available from soft to hard, so choose the one that fits your needs.
  • The more committed you are to using the Foam Roller, the healthier your muscles will be. Discipline and consistency is the key to success in dealing with managing muscle tension.

Final Note

Remember, everyone has muscles that sporadically get stiff, tight or painfully sore. You might be bending over to reach for something, you could be working out, cleaning or chasing your grandkids around the yard, but as I inform my clients if you have a Foam Roller, you can begin to treat the muscles that need relief immediately. This is one piece of equipment that is versatile to use and will help reduce muscle spasms. It can help major discomfort and assist in eliminating pain within minutes!

About the Author:

Steve Avanzino is a certified personal trainer with over 7 years experience utilizing a variety of fitness techniques and equipment. An expert in weight loss, body sculpting, core stabilization, and sport related injury rehabilitation, Steve owns and operates USA Personal Fitness in the Reno-Tahoe, Nevada area. For more information on training with Steve, 

Treat Yourself to a Massage with a Foam Roller

For more information on foam rollers and other fantastic fitness products, please visit www.ActiveForever.com

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