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What Is a Foam Roller? 

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. It can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion. Foam rolling can be an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cooldown, before and after exercise. And the benefits of foam rolling may vary from person to person.

Why Use a Foam Roller? 

  • Useful strategy when it comes to warming up before a workout or cooling down after a sweat session

  • Ease muscle pain and soreness.

  • Reduce muscle inflammation.

  • Increase range of motion.

  • Increase blood flow to muscles.

  • Aid in muscle recovery.

  • Aid in relaxation.

Things To Be Mindful When Using a Foam Roller

  • Foam rolling, when done properly, can have innumerable benefits, but if done improperly, can be harmful, just as with any other physical activity.

  • Foam rolling is generally considered safe to do if you experience muscle tightness or regularly exercise. 

  • But avoid foam rolling if you have a serious injury such as a muscle tear or break, unless your doctor or a physical therapist has cleared you first.

  • Avoid rolling over small joints like your knees, elbows, and ankles, which could cause you to hyperextend or damage them

How to Choose a Foam Roller? 

There are many different types of foam rollers in the market that cater to different areas and injuries of the body. Consider the physical factors a foam roller to pick your perfect foam roller as it can influence your utilization. 

  • Density - soft, medium, firm

    • Foam rollers come in different densities, which determines how they feel and who they are best suited for.

      • Using a roller that is too soft can provide inadequate pressure

      • Using a foam roller that is too hard can cause bruising and trauma, which can result in pain and have a detrimental effect on your performance.

  • Size and Shape 

    • Long foam rollers are versatile and work well on the back, quads, and hamstrings, because of its length and stability 

    • Short foam rollers work well to target smaller areas like arms and calves

  • Construction 

    • A smooth foam roller is a good choice for someone who is just getting into rolling because the pressure is not as intense as with a textured roller​ 

    • A textured foam roller can provide more precisely targeted massage to work out knots in your muscles

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