Foam Roller; Do I really need one?

The short answer to this question is… YES!!!  I feel as if everyone can benefit from a foam roller. Why?  Unfortunately, we all spend way too much time sitting or in stationary positions.  If you have a desk job or even if you have a manual labor job, your muscles spend too much of the day in a shortened contracted position.  Let me explain.

Desk job?  You spend most of your day sitting. This will unnaturally tighten your hamstrings (and depending on how you sit) your TFL or Tensor Fascia Latae Muscle and the Iliotibial Band as well as your chest muscles and core.  Now, using a foam roller on your core muscles is not advisable really, but the other muscles could use a break at the end of the day to get them back into proper functioning order. Your muscles are happiest, and ultimately work better if they are elongated as well as contracted throughout the day.  Best time to foam roll?  At the end of the day, it is always better to go to bed with completely relaxed muscles so your body can complete its nightly ritual of healing as you sleep.

Let’s take your hamstrings as an example of overloaded muscles.  When you sit, even though you may not be actively contracting them they are still in a shortened position (like they are contracted). Over time, without elongating them, or stretching them, they will eventually freeze into that same shortened position.  This causes trigger points or adhesions to develop and thus preventing them from elongating or working at full potential.  This can also encourage improper body alignment and posture throwing you into a revolving door of more body disfunction!  I am sure you have heard the saying about the one straw that broke the camel’s back right?  Well, this didn’t happen in one setting. Wellllll… technically it could be from just one instance, but it is usually from days, months or even years of malalignment and or overload of what the body could or should do. Poor camel!  Don’t be the camel!!!

What kind of foam roller should you buy and how do you use it?! In my opinion, the foam roller is like a pillow or a mattress; it can be a totally subjective issue! Buy one that is right for you!  Do some investigation.  If you are reading this post, you have the knowledge to find information on the net, so use it!   I have supplied a great link HERE about foam rollers and why you should use them.  Here is another LINK showing why they look different, also, how to use them.  You Tube is a valuable resource if you want to actually see someone demonstrate how to use a foam roller if you are a visual learner.

The bottom line…. If it is uncomfortable when you are rolling, you probably need one and are using it correctly! (that was meant to be funny; a sort of joke in the health and fitness industry!)  Of course, if you need or would like personal instruction, or feel like maybe you are using one incorrectly, please do not hesitate to call or contact me!  I would be more than happy to help you with your individual needs!

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