Foam Roller Exercises
Foam roll exercises are like a deep tissue massage. It uses deep compression to help roll out the muscle spasms that develop over time. The compression causes the nerves to relax and also loosens muscle, getting the blood flowing, and helps the body recover. Think of your body as clay. The roll softens up the clay so you can remold it into something more pliable and functional.
The half round type is shaped like a tube roller that's cut lengthwise along their profile, so that the other side is round and while the other one is flat. They are recommended for beginners of balance training exercises. The full round type, on the other hand, is cylindrical with a round cross section and an even diameter all throughout. They are much more difficult to balance and are primarily used by intermediate and expert users with the help of a fitness trainer.
The foam rollers have become popular in many modern Pilates studios. They are affordable, compact and easy to store, making them ideal for the home Pilates studio. It isn't recommended that beginners don't use the Pilates roller without proper instruction. They can be quite challenging, and if the exercises aren't performed correctly can result in injury. They have their own unique repertoire of exercises.
Most of the rest of us get to a point where we just cannot keep up the pace. We cannot keep running the miles we are used to running without a price to pay when the morning alarm goes off. Some of this sensation is typical muscle soreness, just the usual buildup of lactic acid that accumulates a byproduct of exercise. Every jock recognizes the familiar feeling when you hustle up a flight of stairs and you feel that brief burn in your thighs that could kindle a campfire.
Just below our skin there is a dense connective tissue called superficial fascia that covers the entire body. "Often perceived as a thin sheet, superficial fascia is actually a special layering filled with adipose tissue, nerves, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissue."(1). Together, our muscles and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system.
Once you have the roller you can do all sorts of exercises that will loosen spasmed muscles and get you out of pain. I recommend focusing on tight lower back muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Simply roll around on the thing and find a spot that feels sore. Roll back and forth on that spot until it doesn't feel sore anymore. It's that simple, and you can literally loosen up a half dozen tight spots in ten minutes or less.
Foam rolling focuses on the quality of the muscle tissue. The goal is eliminating all of the scar tissue that is built up over time within the tissue. The technical term is Self-Myofascial Release, or SMR for short. Much like a good deep tissue massage makes you feel, SMR does for you as well, without the price tag. I have found quality foam rollers online for as little as ten dollars.
Identify any problem in the skeleton and there will be areas that need to be addressed, above and below that problem area. There are no isolated problem areas because the musculo-skeletal system is like a spider web. Pull or tug on or mess with any area of the web and there will be negative repercussions throughout it. Many things need to be untangled and addressed to remedy one, seemingly isolated symptomatic area.
Ever heard your masseuse say that your muscles are tight in some areas? Self-myofascial release basically does the same thing to your muscles but it's just way cheaper. When done regularly, the pressure from the foam roller against your tight muscles will force them into their natural, straight alignment.