A foam roller is probably the most simple piece of exercise equipment you could probably own. With it’s simplicity also comes affordability, most foam rollers have a starting price of only $10, and with so many ways to use one, it practically pays for itself. Here are three ways a foam roller can be useful.
MASSAGE YOUR MUSCLES (AKA SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE)
Using a foam roller is essentially a more affordable way to give yourself a deep tissue massage. By slowing rolling over various areas of your body, you’ll help break up adhesions and scar tissue and speed up the healing and recovery process after your workout.
Foam rollers work by using the body’s natural response to pressure. As you roll over tight spots or trigger points, the muscle relaxes. For especially tight spots, applying constant pressure might work better than rolling back and forth. Need to work out a few knots in your upper back? Place the roller under your shoulder blades and cross your arms over your chest. Lift your hips off the floor and use your body weight to apply pressure on the tight area [as shown]. Hold up to 60 seconds.
USE IT AS A YOGA PROP
Does your lower back bother you during savasana (corpse) pose? Slip a foam roller under your knees to help relieve some pressure. Need help holding extended triangle pose? Use a short roller (a little taller than most yoga blocks) to help you balance. Foam rollers can be used in a variety of different yoga poses and postures and may help you balance or release your muscles more easily than a yoga block.