Kayla Itsines, the woman who brought us the Bikini Body Guide versions 1 and 2 has recently introduced her millions of followers to the foam roller. Although an essential bit of equipment the foam roller seems to have been overlooked until Kayla began producing her own, complete with instruction book. Foam rolling is the new trend and is seen as a effective way to lose weight and stay fit at a easier level.
Foam Rolling? Why Would I Do That?
So what do foam rollers do exactly? They are cylindrical and covered in ridges designed to reach those hard to find knots in your muscles. If you have ever felt sore after a long workout then you will understand how uncomfortable those knots can be. Muscles can easily be stretched out (and we hope you are stretching regularly after every workout), but stretching out a muscle does not undo the knots embedded in the tissue. A massage by your physio can do wonders for your muscles, however there is an easier (and cheaper) way. Cue the introduction of the foam roller to your routine!
Self-myofascial release is the proper name for the massage that you are able to apply to yourself using a foam roller. It works primarily to ease out your muscle tension and apply pressure to knots, aiding release. After regular use of a foam roller your muscles should return to their happy elastic selves and leave you ready to spring into your running shoes again.
The image below is of a classic foam roll technique for your upper back. The feeling you get from foam rolling shouldn’t necessarily be pleasant, but make sure you stop if you experience any real pain. Although it can be uncomfortable we can promise that the benefits are definitely worth it, as after you are finished you will have muscles that feel supple and healthy again, rather than tight and painful. So invest in one or find a spare one at your gym and have a go exploring the knots in your muscles.