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foam rolling

Foam Rollers Has Been Missing From Your Workouts

Has your gym gotten one recently? It can be difficult to imagine what’s the hype about rolling about with what is essentially coloured cylinder. But until you’ve actually tried foam rolling, you won’t understand any of it. Read on as Tropika Club shares more about why you should start using a foam roller.


No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article

  • Importance of Foam Rollers: Foam rollers are essential tools for self-myofascial release, aiding in muscle recovery, reducing soreness, and improving flexibility, making their absence in workouts concerning.
  • Benefits for Muscle Recovery: Incorporating foam rolling in exercise routines helps alleviate muscle tension and tightness, promoting quicker recovery and reducing the risk of injuries.
  • Addressing Soreness and Discomfort: Foam rolling targets trigger points, releasing knots in muscles, and providing relief from soreness and discomfort, enhancing overall workout performance.
  • Enhancing Flexibility and Range of Motion: Regular use of foam rollers increases muscle elasticity and range of motion, leading to improved mobility during workouts and daily activities.
  • Preventive Measure for Injuries: Including foam rollers in fitness regimens can prevent injuries by promoting proper muscle alignment and reducing the likelihood of muscle imbalances.
  • Cost-Effective and Convenient Solution: Foam rollers are relatively inexpensive and easy to use at home, making them a practical addition to any workout routine for better overall fitness outcomes.

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What a foam roller can do

While it may take more time for the level of research and scientific evidence to reach a conclusive consensus, but small studies consistently show improvements in muscles flexibility with foam rolling. So, after you use a foam roller, you might feel less tight in your muscles, letting you work out more efficiently with better, and safer form. 

That might give you an extra edge if you’re planning to combine multiple workouts. In another 8-person study by the Journal of Athletic Training, there’s evidence showing that through foam rolling, there’s a reduction in delayed-onset muscle soreness – the pain and stiffness you feel the day you workout.  

How foam rollers help release muscle tension

There’s no definitive theory that explains the exact mechanisms of foam rolling yet. One leading theory as to how foam rolling can help ease muscle pain is the theory of myofascial release. Basically what that means is that it releases the tension in the fascia – a thin casing of connective tissues surrounding all of our organs, bones, blood vessels, nerve fibres, and muscles.

In our muscles, fascia exists in multiple layers, encasing each individual muscle fibre and muscle cells. It covers the entire muscle body as well. These layers of fascia not only gives our muscles its shape, but it’s also attached to our tendons and bones too, helping us move around, be it running or swimming.


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Ideally, the muscle fascia slides between your muscles like silk. But, on its own, the muscle fascia isn’t very flexible. And sometimes, due to various reasons such as muscle injury or inflammation, the muscle fascia binds to each other. It loses elasticity, which could be behind your sore muscles and your limited range of motion after a tough workout.

So, by foam rolling, you allow the muscle fascia to move and become more malleable. As you apply pressure to it, it separates and relaxes, becoming more flexible in the process.

In another theory, its possible that foam rolling changes the neurological mechanisms with the muscles, rather than providing myofascial release. So, as you use a foam roller on certain muscles, you’re applying direct pressure to those muscles, triggering the nerve receptors in the region. And, as you trigger the nerve receptors, you could be telling your brain to loosen the muscles in that region. 

When it hurts so good…

That’s how you get the ‘releasing’ sensation, the sort of pain that feels like you’re getting a deep tissue massage. But, and this is an important ‘but’, you shouldn’t assume that just because it hurts when you foam roll, it means its ‘working’. If you’re experiencing sharp pain that doesn’t improve after a few days, you should see a physical therapist or a doctor.

How to Start Foam Rolling

It’s pretty simple:

1. Start easy. Try first with light pressure.

2. If the sensation is too much for you, you can reduce the amount of bodyweight you’re placing on the foam roller. Say for when you’re rolling your hips, you can put more weight on your arms for support, so there’s less of your weight on your foam roller.

3. Once you’re used to it, you can add more weight and pressure on the foam roller.


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Where Not to Foam Roll

The rule you should follow is to only roll your muscles, not your ligaments or joints. So you should stick to rolling your lats, traps, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. 

As you’re rolling on your shoulder, be careful to only roll the meat of your shoulders lightly. Avoid rolling your lower back, otherwise, you might trigger the muscles surrounding the lower back to go in to spasm.

When to Foam Roll

For the best results, stick to foam rolling every day. It’s important to know that the effects of foam rolling tend to have a short lifespan. And while you should aim to foam roll before and after your workouts, you can just roll any time you want.

And as you foam roll, spend around half a minute on the targeted muscles you’re rolling. If you want to stay on the same spot for longer, you can do three sets of 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest in between each roll for your tight muscles.

To make sure you’re actually relieving muscle tension, divide the muscle you’re rolling into the top, middle, and bottom segments.  Roll on each section for a bit, then after you’re done roll the entire length of your muscle – to make sure your TLC get spread around evenly.

Which Foam Roller You Should be Getting

For the best results, stick to foam rolling every day. It’s important to know that the effects of foam rolling tend to have a short lifespan. And while you should aim to foam roll before and after your workouts, you can just roll any time you want.

  • Smooth roller: This is perfect for first-time foam rollers. Its surface has an even texture that gives you a more consistent experience as it relieves muscle soreness.
  • Textured rollers: They usually have knobs and ridges to help alleviate knots in your muscles, as well as the trigger points that a smooth roller can’t reach.

There are other kinds of equipment that works like a foam roller too. These can help you target the deeper muscle groups.

  • Foam massage balls: It targets specific muscle areas, such as the shoulders.
  • Foam-covered massage sticks: These are often used on your legs or your upper back.

Conclusion

First things first, foam rollers are crucial for something called “self-myofascial release.” Fancy term, but all it means is giving yourself a deep tissue massage to release muscle tension and tightness. When you work out, your muscles can get all knotted up, leading to soreness and discomfort. Foam rolling helps break those knots, so you can recover faster and feel less achy after a tough workout.

And it’s not just about feeling better; foam rolling also improves your flexibility and range of motion. The more flexible your muscles are, the better they can perform during exercises, and the less likely you are to get injured. So, it’s a win-win situation!

Imagine this: you finish a grueling workout, and instead of feeling like a stiff board the next day, you wake up with minimal soreness. That’s the magic of foam rollers! They work wonders on your muscles, helping them recover faster and preventing future injuries.

You might be wondering, how do these foam rollers work their magic? Well, they target what are called “trigger points” in your muscles. These are the spots that feel super tender and tight when you press on them. Foam rolling applies pressure to these points, releasing the tension and giving you much-needed relief.

Now, let’s talk about the convenience factor. Foam rollers are affordable and easy to use. You can find them at most sporting goods stores or online, and they come in various shapes and sizes. You can even get a compact one to keep at home or take with you to the gym.

Incorporating foam rolling into your workout routine doesn’t require hours of extra time. Just a few minutes after your workout can make a significant difference. You can target specific muscle groups or roll out your entire body, depending on your needs.

So, if you’ve been wondering why your workouts haven’t been giving you the results you want, it might be time to give foam rollers a shot. They’re like your personal massage therapist, helping your muscles recover, reducing soreness, and improving your overall fitness.

In conclusion, foam rollers are a game-changer for anyone serious about their fitness journey. They offer numerous benefits like muscle recovery, reduced soreness, increased flexibility, and injury prevention. Incorporating foam rolling into your workout routine is an easy and affordable way to enhance your fitness experience. So, next time you hit the gym, don’t forget to roll it out with a foam roller, and watch how your body thanks you for it! Happy rolling!

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are foam rollers, and how do they benefit my workouts?

A: Foam rollers are simple yet effective tools used for self-myofascial release, helping to alleviate muscle tension, reduce soreness, improve flexibility, and enhance overall workout performance.

Q: How do foam rollers aid in muscle recovery?

A: Foam rolling targets trigger points in the muscles, releasing knots and tension, which promotes quicker muscle recovery and reduces the risk of post-workout soreness.

Q: Can foam rolling prevent workout-related injuries?

A: Yes, incorporating foam rollers in your workouts can prevent injuries by promoting proper muscle alignment, reducing muscle imbalances, and enhancing overall muscle flexibility.

Q: Are foam rollers suitable for beginners, and how do I use them correctly?

A: Foam rollers are suitable for beginners and fitness enthusiasts alike. To use them correctly, simply apply gentle pressure to targeted muscle areas and roll back and forth, focusing on trigger points.

Q: What are some specific foam roller exercises I can try?

A: Foam rollers can be used for various exercises, such as rolling out the calves, quads, hamstrings, and IT bands, as well as releasing tension in the upper back and shoulders.

Q: Are there different types of foam rollers available in Singapore?

A: Yes, there are various types of foam rollers available in Singapore, including smooth, textured, and contoured rollers, each offering different levels of intensity.


Meanwhile, Check Out Tropika Club’s Ecosystem of Websites

Tropika Club Magazine and Tropika Club Deals

Tropika Club Magazine – Tropika Club Magazine is a Singapore-based publication that features articles on a wide range of topics with a focus on local businesses and content for the region. The magazine emphasizes supporting local businesses through its #SupportLocal initiative, which includes coverage of everything from neighborhood hawker stalls to aesthetic clinics in town. In addition to highlighting local businesses, Tropika Club Magazine also covers a variety of local content, including beauty, lifestyle, places, eats, and what’s on in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.

Tropika Club Deals – Tropika Club Deals is a leading online deals and voucher shopping site in Singapore, offering amazing discounts on beauty, wellness, and fitness products and services. It’s the perfect platform for customers who want to discover the best deals without having to commit to a specific appointment date and time. These deals are available at major beauty stores, facial salons, hair salons, and other brands in Singapore, with no minimum spend required. Choose from guaranteed discounted deals in the categories of hairstyling, hair removal, facial & aesthetics, body slimming, brows & lashes, nails & makeup, massage & spa or fitness & wellness. Tropika Club Deals is also ideal for customers who want to buy vouchers as gifts or to use for the future. So whether you’re looking to save money on your next haircut or want to treat yourself to a relaxing massage, Tropika Club Deals has got you covered with the best voucher and coupon deals in Singapore!

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Terence is the deputy editor for Tropika Club Magazine. He is an analytical individual who enjoys learning about animals and different cultures. He has a curious mind and is always seeking knowledge and understanding. Terence is also a friendly and approachable person who enjoys making connections with others. He is passionate about his work in the publishing industry and takes pride in his collaborations with authors and editors.

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