Roll with the foam!

A few months ago I decided to treat myself to a foam roller, after reading great reviews from trainers and athletes. It is a great piece of kit, very simple, but man does it hurt.... in a good way!


So, what is it? Its simply a roll of foam! It depends on what roller you buy, but they can either be smooth or have a 'tyre tread-like' texture to it. My roller is smooth, just a basic one really. I am sure the manufacturing process is a little more complicated than making a roll made of foam, but it is still a simple, great piece of kit to own.

What is it used for? hurting you!! only joking.... It's used to help recover from a tough workout/training session/sport/matches etc. It is similar to having a massage. It is designed to 'roll out' your muscle tissue to help get rid of the toxins, to stretch out the fibers, and to get the recovery process underway. I remember watching a Youtube video of Rob Riches training in America, and half way through his leg session, he actually used a foam roller in between sets. I could see the pain through his facial expression, but he said it helps him to finish the sets. It really does help to flush out the toxins and can help you push that litter harder and further.

Here are the main benefits of using a foam roller:

- Helps to break up adhesions
- Helps to relax your muscles (after the pain!)
- Increases blood flow to your muscles
- Helps to lengthen tight muscles
- Helps to speed up recovery
- Helps to break up scar tissue

I have mentioned a few times a foam roller being painful - it is! but it is worthwhile. The great thing is that you don't need to use it for that long to reap the benefits. I would say anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes would be sufficient (best used after a workout/session, but can be used between workouts). A foam roller can help to speed up your recovery, but if you add some static stretches in after, you can recover even faster. By that, I am not saying you will recover so quick that you can train a few hours later, that would be nuts, but you will recover quicker.

From seeing the benefits mentioned above, and personally feeling the benefits, I highly recommend purchasing a foam roller. They are relatively cheap to be honest, anywhere from £10-20. Why not give it a go?

Lee Gregory Fitness

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