On A Roll

Need a massage but don’t want to spend the money?  It might be time to invest in a foam roller.  Known in the fitness world as “the poor man’s massage”, foam rollers have been gaining popularity with athletes and non-athletes alike.   They come in various sizes and densities, but no matter what type you use the general premise remains the same : find an area of tension (or knot), roll it out, repeat.  Since foam rolling breaks up the scar tissue on the outer lining of the muscle it is actually a form of stretching.  The beauty of foam rolling is that you can do it before a workout, after a workout, or while you are at home watching television.  There is no wrong time to foam roll.  When foam rolling with clients I generally concentrate on the lower extremities since that is where it usually does the most good.  Hamstrings are always key, as are the calves and quads.  One of the areas where a foam roll does the most good is the IT band (warning: this is a sensitive area for most and usually a bit painful, but in an it-hurts-so-good type of way).  That said, you never want to roll to the point of bruising.  If you find that happening, back off a bit or switch to a lower-density roller.

 

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