What Is A Smart Foam Roller & How Do You Properly Use One?
Foam rollers have become extremely popular in recent times, and it’s hard to see that changing soon, except, of course, we are going to have something super, like ‘super foam roller.’
Well that being said, these days, it’s really hard to go to a gym and find doing the rolling thing. Unlike many gym equipment that are fairly conspicuous and sometimes difficult to operate, a smart foam roller is much simpler and more portable.
You might wonder if these foam rollers are as effective as they appear to be. Well, foam rollers do a great deal to the body, particularly for joints flexibility, at least medical experts assert this, but they also admit that much of its mechanism of operation or action on the body is NOT fully understood, as much of the studies have not been concluded, or are not definitive. Make no mistake though, they do improve body conditioning and health.
What is a Smart Foam Roller?
Keeping our fascia (the dense connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and bones, and holds them in place), muscles and other body parts are very important. Smart foam rollers are a self-help massage tool and are a form of self-myofascial release therapy. They are cylindrical and available in different sizes and densities. Short rollers could range from 12 – 18 inches and long rollers could be as long as 36 inches. The density and texture of a smart foam roller could vary from medium to firm.
They help to improve our range of motion, and as such are a vital part of warm-up routines. They could also improve short-term athletic performance before performing and muscle recovery after performing.
The majority of scientific studies have shown that the immediate improvement of flexibility did not last for more than 10 minutes, although various other studies also showed that with regular use of a smart foam roller, long-term flexibility was ***e. Foam rollers are a smart way to tackle muscle knots or soreness without needing to be physically present at the spa.
Why Use a Smart Foam Roller?
When the muscle and the fascia surrounding them are stuck together due to inactivity, disuse, or injury, an adhesion that restricts or hinders range in motion, is formed. Sometimes pain and soreness could be experienced, sustained pressure on smart foam rollers results in the softening, and the lengthening of the muscles and body parts.
Smart foam rollers are flexible equipment that aids long term flexibility, accelerates muscle recovery, and enhances healing. However, you mustn’t be sick or injured to need a smart foam roller, this is a misconception. Dr. Christopher White, a Physical therapist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center remarks:
“Foam rollers are under-utilized and under-appreciated…this versatile piece of equipment not only can help lengthen muscles before and/or after exercise, it can also relax and soothe aching muscles.”
– Dr. Christopher White
The fact that one can use as little as five minutes for a foam roller massage is more relieving for busy persons, They can be used to relax and to target trigger points in our otherwise soft tissues, and can go as deep as the fascia to ease the acid buildup that causes muscle soreness or stiffness. Additionally, smart foam rollers are very light and portable, they can be carried about and/or used anywhere.
How to Use a Smart Foam Roller?
- Start small. Dedicate about 15 minutes for your first few massages, then gradually increase the time frame as you become more consistent.
- Getting your angles right is probably the most important factor while rolling. You should ensure your posture allows you to breathe freely without any obstruction. A relaxed posture and unhindered breathing will ensure that there is an adequate intake of oxygen into the body, at the time.
- Whenever you feel a knot or tight spot while rolling, pause (stop on the spot) and allow the weight of the body to rest on the spot to aid the dissipation of the knot or adhesion.
- Focus on these areas. Usually, you may experience some discomfort, which will go as you ease through the process.
- For each particular muscle, when your roll, create a pulsing effect while you flex and extend the muscle.
- Relax your jaw and ensure there is no tension on your muscle by placing only as much weight on the foam roller as you can tolerate.
- For your hamstrings, you should place the smart foam roller under the back of the thigh (towards the back of the knee) and lean forward while stretching your hamstring for a few seconds. Switch legs and repeat this step. Ensure your other feet is on the floor all the while. Turn around and repeat this step for your quads.
- For your back, lie with your back on the foam roller and hold your head with your hands. Slowly roll from the middle of your back up to your shoulders. Do this again, this time from the middle of your back to your butt. Support your weight with your feet and the foam roller, that is much of your weight should be on the foam roller, not your butt.
- Repeat this 3-5 times, based on your muscle needs.
- Drink plenty of water after using the foam roller.
Who is a Smart Foam Roller Good for?
Smart foam rollers are good for everyone. They are most effective for long term flexibility. Using a smart foam roller before a workout can be very helpful. Rolling your muscles pre-workout would ensure you can engage in full-scale motion as much as you want.
By activating or awaking your muscles beforehand, you will boost your performance level and get rid of any potential muscle know or motion-restricting part before a workout or sporting exercise. If you are a frequent sufferer of lower back pain, tech neck, or muscular pains, foam rollers are for you.
While smart foam rollers offer a quick, easy and cheap, yet effective means of maintaining body conditioning, for all and sundry, however, for those with any heart conditions or terminal illnesses, foam rollers should not be used without professional medical supervision or approval from a licensed physician.