Reduce muscle soreness with a foam roller
Foam rollers help alleviate muscle tension and soreness with a variety of muscles ranging from your back down to your calves.
While professional and collegiate athletes have been using foam rollers as part of their warm ups and stretching programs for many years, they can also easily be used by anyone. Using simple techniques, a person can release the knots in muscles and stretch out tight muscles.
Foam rollers can also be incorporated in cool-down stretching to significantly aid exercise recovery time to alleviate soreness the next day.
Personal trainers and physical therapists find that foam rollers can also be a great tool to help alleviate specific trigger points.
“Using a foam roller after a workout releases all the tension in your muscles,” says Julie Korhomel, a personal trainer at Advocate Condell Centre Club in Libertyville, Ill. “You feel so good after using it because your body is relaxed.”
Korhomel warns not to use a foam roller on your joints, such as your knees, because joints are not made to withstand that kind of pressure. She also adds that the duration of foam roller stretches varies from person-to-person. Stop if it is too painful, or seek assistance from a professional at a fitness center for proper technique.
Experts say to take a look at your options for foam rollers and identify which type is right for you. Softer rollers are good for people who are beginners with the fitness accessory and can help with tight or sensitive trigger points. Dense foam rollers are more suitable for people that are experienced with and can help with deeper trigger points that are harder to access. Be prepared that using either type of foam roller might cause a little bit of discomfort.
Learn basic foam roller stretches for your back, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and IT band by watching the following video:
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.