Foam rollers are our go-to tool for tension-relief as well as reducing stress! Many personal trainers will look to foam rollers for alleviating pain and soreness for their clients, especially those who sit all day! But the benefits of foam rollers go beyond helping rub out of few kinks; they help stretch our fascia, which plays an essential role in the overall structure of our bones and joints.
Foam rolling targets the fascia.
Guess what? A foam roller is not a medieval torture device, when used right, rolling can actually help rejuvenate and strengthen your entire body by healing and restoring your fascia.
Fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that lies under the skin and wraps around every muscle and organ in the body. It also helps connect the muscles to the bones and joints and plays a crucial role in our structural integrity—so in a way it is like the scaffolding of the body.
Your fascia is also where the nerves and the lymph nodes sit– and because this is where pain originates, it can communicate with the brain. (Mind blown!)
What are the benefits of foam rolling?
One of the key benefits of the roller is that it helps smooth out and hydrate the fascia. This improves circulation throughout your entire body which helps to oxygenate the blood, boost lymphatic drainage and flush toxins from the body. The roller also helps to “lubricate” the joints and reduce inflammation in the body while increasing flexibility and range of motion.
Here is our five step basic foam roller exercise:
1. Lie on the roller with your spine supported from head to tailbone.
2. Begin with your arms extended down by your sides, with the palms of your hands facing up to open and expand the chest.
3. Inhale deeply as you reach your arms up overhead slowly and with control, keeping them as close to the mat as possible and parallel to the floor.
4. Exhale completely as you draw your arms back down to your sides.
5. Repeat eight times.