What is a foam roller

Do you want to change your training plan a little to enhance its benefits? Classic dumbbells, kettlebells or fireballs (giant balls for Pilates) are some of the most common objects to complete an exercise, a list to which foam rollers have been added in recent times, a kind of rollers that can both complement training and help in the treatment of injuries thanks to myofascial release, as it works with different parts of the fascia or musculature.

The foam roller, which is made of totally firm foam or rubber but padded to allow the bearing without crushing, rests on the floor and it is the person himself who slides by supporting the body on the roller and being his weight which exerts pressure against the apparatus. Thus, the fewer points of support on the floor are used (usually legs and arms), the greater the pressure exerted by the roller on whoever is using it. For this reason, it is necessary to measure very well the pressure that is supported in the body, since it must never be painful (except something bearable when it comes to recovering from an injury).

Although it was initially used only as a technique to recover from injuries, it is now widely used as another section of the training routines because practising foam rolling does not require much time, in fact never more than 20 minutes and that would mean doing it throughout the body, but rarely trains all the muscles at once.

With foam rolling you usually work both before the start of physical activity to prepare the muscle, in the return to calm to relax and stretch the muscles, and on days off to reactivate and shorten the recovery period, as well as treat injuries or muscle problems.

What is foam rolling for?

With foam rolling, the fascia (tissue that protects the body) and the muscles are worked on, offering important improvements in recovery and preparation for physical activity. All of this is because the massage penetrates different layers of the muscle that activates it and eliminates tightness.

On the other hand, the foam roller strengthens the muscles thanks to the massage applied to the deep muscle tissue.

Also, foam rolling is used as a therapeutic technique working on the trigger points so that myofascial release can eliminate or reduce pain and achieve more mobility of the affected areas. The trigger points are thicker tension bands found in the muscle fibre, resembling a granite of rice on which pressure is exerted to relieve pain. It should not be forgotten that foam rolling as a healing method is not a substitute for a doctor or physiotherapist, but a compliment that must be previously taught by a specialist.