The foam rolling or self-myofascial release is a recovery technique of very famous muscle tissue, and from which you get great benefits. The foam roller is applied to the specific points of the muscles to be treated.
We are talking about an economic system which however must be carried out correctly to avoid the onset of more serious problems. In this article, we will learn about this tool so simple and at the same time so important that it manages to improve our general well-being and strengthen our muscles.
Here we had selected some of the best foam rollers that are given below.
Buyer Guide to Choose Foam Rollers
Before buying a foam roller you should know the product very well. You cannot joke with your health and misuse could cause you serious injuries or make the result of your exercises vain.
Following, you will get some useful information that will help your choice and the use you will make of your roller.
What Is a Foam Roller?
The foam roller (in Italian: foam roller) is a light tube of compressed foam with a cylindrical shape. It is multifunctional, although it is normally used to loosen muscle knots, relieve pain and improve flexibility. These rollers are available in different sizes and densities.
Benefits of Using a Foam Roller
The advantages of using a foam roller are many. We can use it at home and carry it easily to complete our workout, do exercises or enjoy a nice massage. But the most interesting benefits are those that affect health.
Below you will find a list of some of the positive aspects deriving from its use:
- Muscle relaxation – Reduces tension in areas where knots are created.
- Fatigue – Reduces tiredness between hard training or long periods of work.
- Relaxation – allows you to release stress and generates a feeling of well-being.
- Strengthening – Muscles recover better and maintain their elasticity.
- Circulation – Improves blood pressure and blood circulation which brings more nourishment to the muscles, skin, tendons and ligaments.
- Prevention – The foam roller helps us to prevent injuries, contractures and muscle injuries. It is also a valid ally to combat cellulite through the production of new collagen in the stimulated area.
How Does a Foam Roller Work?
As much as a foam roller may seem very easy to use, we must not forget that wrong use can have negative consequences, such as a counterproductive reaction or even an injury to our muscles.
If we are looking for a therapeutic benefit, it is better to hear the opinion of an expert, at least until we are able to evaluate for ourselves, thanks to our experience, the right path to follow.
Before starting with short massages, it is important to do some warm-up exercises. Professional sportsmen undergo treatments after completing training sessions. The roller should never be used where there is a trauma, but rather the surrounding area should be treated so as not to worsen inflammation.
How Long Should Foam Roller Sessions Last?
When you start using the foam roller, you need to start with short, low-severity sessions. A couple of minutes a day is enough to get used to the instrument and to make our muscles no longer hurt.
Over time we will gradually increase to five minutes or more, but always without exceeding twenty seconds for each area to be treated.
The movements must be slow and one must be careful to recognize the points of rigidity in which one must intervene. If we have harder points, it is better to treat them later, perhaps when the fabrics are more relaxed.
If the pain does not decrease and is constant, it is advisable not to continue insisting because it could make the situation worse.
Types of Foam Rollers
The level of the user and the knowledge of the instrument identify the type of foam roller that best suits their needs. Every sportsman has his own needs, but it is important to consider the knowledge acquired through the use of these sponge rollers.
Below, we will see which models are most suitable based on the athlete’s level:
- Beginners: These users still have little pain resistance and must have a precautionary approach with the foam roller, even if the effectiveness is less and the duration shorter. It is essential to get used to the tool to buy others of higher quality.
- Intermediate Sportsman: When you begin to assimilate the pain and learn more about the functioning of the roller, then you can opt for a harder model, but one that does not push excessively on the muscles.
- Advanced Sportsman: We are talking about a person with a lot of experience and who knows perfectly the functioning of the foam roller and the needs of his body. These rollers are equipped with ridges or growths that allow a very deep massage. To use them you need to be very pain tolerant.
How to Choose a Foam Roller?
If you decide to buy a foam roller, you must first check the density and the surface, since the degree of stimulation that the massage will offer depends on these factors.
Dimensions represent another aspect to consider depending on the area we want to treat, even if a small or medium size can be effective throughout the body.
Here we had also shared a guide that shows how to use the foam rollers properly.
The rollers are plastic products and coated with viscoelastic foam. The latter can have different types of density, which will affect hardness and weight.
Normally, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and EVA rubber (ethylene vinyl acetate) are used. The quality of the products is guaranteed and it is the consumer who must choose the one that best suits the specific functions.
The wear resistance of a foam roller does not have to do with its softness or hardness when used for massages.
It is the construction materials, correct use and adequate maintenance that will extend the life of this tool. However, these products offer good strength and are generally very durable.
The size of the foam roller can vary between 30 and 90 centimetres. Although each model applies to different functions, it is advisable to use a size that fits the area of the body we want to treat. The longer length is suitable for the back, whereas a 60 cm roller may be more comfortable for the arms.
But if we want to buy only one piece, the 30 or 40 cm roller can be useful in all situations, moreover, it is easier to transport and store. As for the diameter, it generally varies between 12 and 15 centimetres, although there are models with smaller dimensions.
Depending on the degree of muscle contracture and the objectives set, you must opt for a soft or harder foam roller, keeping in mind that the former is less effective.
Even if it still offers less incisiveness and perhaps seems more comfortable because it avoids unnecessary hassles. It is always good to turn to a professional.
The basic model of the foam roller is ideal for beginners. It has no protrusions and offers shallower massages that avoid aches and pains.
However, if we wanted to stimulate a very contracted area, it would not be effective. For this, there are rollers with additional knots and ridges. Regular use is recommended.
In any case, there is no better type than another. Everything depends on the user, who must find the product that best suits his needs. You need to research efficiency and avoid having pains with the foam roller unless these annoyances only come later during the massage.