For those who don’t know, the foam roller is made of high-density foam so it’s really firm and can take full bodyweight. Use of the foam roller causes relaxation in the muscle and helps breakdown soft tissue adhesions and even scar tissue.
This technique really goes hand in hand with stretching. Traditional stretching causes increases in muscle length while the foam roller work will also assist in relaxation of the muscle and breakdown of the connective tissue covering the muscle, thus allowing it to lengthen even further.
The general technique is to find a tender spot and keep the roller on this point. As the tenderness slowly diminishes you can allow more of your bodyweight to bear down on the spot. This can be really uncomfortable at first, you may need to just roll over the area first until you get used to the sensations. Eventually you will and then you can start to really concentrate on pressure points and reap some great benefits.
Foam rollers offer a really inexpensive and convenient way of accessing massage benefits in the privacy of your own home.
There are a lot of psychological and physiological benefits to be gained from massage. As well as relieving the tension in muscles massage can also relieve a lot of mental stress. The squeezing, stroking, compressive and pushing components of massage facilitate the drainage the blood and lymph systems.
Massaging of soft tissues also causes slight stretching effects thus maintaining elasticity and regaining mobility where tissues have adhered within themselves or to adjacent tissues. This mobilizing effect is enhanced by improved blood supply which causes increased warmth of the body part. Massage is an effective technique for assisting flexibility, but it should not replace stretching schedules.