I often recommend my clients purchase a foam roller as part of their stretching regime. Essentially think of using the foam roller as a self massage device for releasing tight areas of muscle. When used it breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. For a number of reasons muscles will become tight and this is a great weapon to address those tight painful areas. You use the foam roller against your own body weight and roll on it to release tight areas of muscle. They can also be used for balance/ stabilisation exercises. It will be uncomfortable to use the first couple of times but after a while you will get used to it and feel the benefits. The foam roller is an inexpensive but highly effective way to treat tight restricted areas by yourself. Problems such as runner’s knee, quadriceps pain and sciatica can all be helped when using the foam roller.
Foam Roller Exercise Instruction
The basic instructions are
- Use after a workout when your muscles are warm
- Position the roller under the soft tissue area you want to release or loosen.
- Adjust the amount of pressure by adjusting your body weight
- If you find a tight spot stay on it for a little bit longer until you feel it release
- Expect to feel uncomfortable
- Use in conjunction with stretching for adding benefit
I found a good article online on how to use the foam roller here