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Top 4 Things About Foam Rolling

Foam rolling and self-massage are making its way into our everyday lives –  and for good reason. Foam rolling has traditionally been used by top athletes for many years. From runners to dancers, the foam roller is the top tool for working out knots, tight spots, tension and addressing pain.

The foam roller is not just for sport or dance any longer. Traditionally, foam cylinders massaged your muscles by using your own body weight to press and roll against them. Foam rollers are found in a variety of sports stores, Chiropractic and Wellness Clinics, and can be used in physical therapy sessions as well. Stretching along with foam rolling is very important to our overall health.  Invest in a foam roller to get a better stretch and improve your health.

 

Before you roll or self-massage, check out these 4 top tips that you need to know:

  1. Increases blood flow and hydration

Foam rolling works as like a sports massage, deep tissue or relaxing massage without the costly expense of a daily visit to the massage therapist - It does not replace a good massage but is an added aid between appointments. Like any massage, the pressure of the roller improves your circulation by stimulating blood flow to your soft tissues. Slow rolling helps increase hydration between your cells and helps you to absorb the water you are drinking. If you have had a massage, the therapists always recommended drinking more water, this is the same for foam rolling - we are conditioning our bodies expel toxins and absorb more water. There is a healing effect on tight, tender muscles and injuries because more oxygen is delivered to the areas that are rolled.

Try a hamstring roll: Sit on top of the Rollga with the roller under the base of one or both thighs. Use your arms to lift your body and glide over the Rollga from just above your knee/s to the bottom of your butt. Roll slowly (8 seconds up), relax pressure back to above the knee. Repeat for 4 to 8 times, rotating toes/legs in and out to target different areas of the hamstring. You can also stop on “knots” and hold for 10 seconds or longer if needed for them to relax, switch legs if doing one at a time.

  1. Improves mobility (move more freely)

Poor spine mobility is common and it can cause tension in your neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips. Your entire spine can greatly benefit from foam rolling, especially as related to mobility.  Tension leads to bad posture, aches, and pain. Stretching and self massage thru use of a foam roller can help this tension. Foam rolling is an easy way to stretch out your upper back, helping improve your flexibility by loosening up the tissues. It is generally not recommended to roll your low back.

Try a thoracic spine roll: Place the Rollga at the bottom of your rib cage, just above your low back - the Rollga should be positioned perpendicular to your upper back. Bend your knees, so that your feet are on the ground and your butt is up off of the floor, or leave your butt on the floor for less pressure (you can also do this on a wall). Cross your arms across your chest, and roll up and down your upper spine 4 to 8 times, rolling slowing, there is no preferred rolling direction, do what feels best. Rotate slightly side to side to target different areas of the erector muscles (muscles along the spine). Avoid your neck and lower back. It may feel uncomfortable but not painful and your back may crack, but rolling will help loosen your spine and improve your mobility. Take it easy to start and a wall may be the best place to start.

  1. Slower is better

When it comes to foam rolling, take a lesson from the tortoise: Slow and steady wins the race. If you roll out too quickly, it’s easy to pass right over the knots in your muscles, while beating up the rest unnecessarily. Also, rolling slowly increases the amount of hydration to areas surrounding your cells.

 

Start rolling out very slowly and when you come to a sore spot, roll over it slowly, stop and hold or rock on it, again do what feels best for you. This will gradually release the knot without subjecting the rest of your muscles to too much pressure. Slowing your pace helps to target specific areas.

Try a quad roll: Lie on top of your foam roller facing the ground with the Rollga under your thighs, start with it just about your knees. Use your arms to roll back and forth, moving on top of the Rollga from your knees to your hips. Stop or roll slowly thru sore areas. Roll your quads 4 to 8 times or more, rotating your toes in and out to target different parts of the quads muscles. Visualize the “edges” of the contours as thumbs pressing between main four quad muscles.

  1. A runner’s best friend

Muscle tension is caused by repetitive motion, so runners often struggle with tight leg, hip and back muscles. Foam rolling helps release knots, improves flexibility, and decreases your risk of injuries caused by the tension that running can cause. Rolling is particularly helpful for runners suffering from iliotibial band (IT) stiffness. The IT band is a piece of fascia that runs from your hip to your knee. If it’s too tight, it pulls your knee out of place and can cause pain and swelling in your joint. Massaging your IT band with a foam roller is a great way to alleviate this pain. Targeting areas of the quad muscle “behind” the IT band is extremely beneficial and also areas around the hip bone.

Try an IT band roll: Lie on your side, keep your body in a perfect line from shoulders to hip to feet, prop yourself up with your elbow, place top leg in front and life up for controlling pressure. Position the Rollga under your hip in Zone 3 (outside contour), at the top of your femur. Roll your body back and forth from the top of your knee to hip slowly rotating slightly to target areas behind the IT. Rollga Zone 1 can also be used if you prefer more pressure on the IT band itself. This roll out may be uncomfortable at but by varying body weight and using Zone 3, the discomfort will be manageable. It’s important to start light, and gradually apply more weight as it feels more comfortable.

 

Expand your fitness knowledge? Check out what causes an urge to stretch?

 

 

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***Disclaimer: Rollga is neither a medical device nor intended as a treatment for medical conditions. This product does not cure medical ailments or illnesses. No information provided by Rollga manufacturer or its distributors, whether written or verbal or provided in these instructions, in brochures, in websites or otherwise, is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Ask your health care professional if Rollga is right for you. Rollga has not been evaluated by the FDA.

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