March 21, 2023


Warming up with a foam roller is a popular recovery method to help reduce post-workout muscle soreness and improve mobility. This is because there are areas on the body that become tight and sore and can interfere with exercise performance.

According to various people, foam roller massage is either the best invention or a complete waste of time. But in fact, the opinion may be intermediate. The use of a foam roller should be considered as a budget option for massage. Of course, massage from a professional massage therapist will be more effective, but using a foam roller is cheaper and more affordable.

Benefits of exercising with a foam roller

Yes, the foam roller may not be very comfortable, but its benefits, described below, are worth it.

  1. Reduces muscle soreness with delayed onset of muscle pain (DOMS). In a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, men who used a foam roller on their legs after a workout reported a reduction in post-workout soreness. They used the roller for 20 minutes after training, and then again 24 and 48 hours later.
  2. Improves joint mobility.
  3. Reducing muscle stickiness and by working on trigger points in the fascia, you improve the elasticity of the muscles and help them return to their ideal length. This improves joint mobility, allowing you to strengthen all parts of the movement for better strength and hypertrophy.
  4. Helps with muscle pain and tension.
  5. Roller pressure helps increase blood flow and increase the temperature in those parts that pass under the foam roller. Studies have shown that it can help relieve muscle pain and tension. But be careful not to press on the sore spots or put your body in a position that could aggravate the pain. This will cause all the benefits of a foam roller to disappear.

Upper back roller

Before you do bench press, deadlift or squat, you need to rollerblading on the upper back. This will help eliminate pain and stiffness, as well as improve the mobility of the shoulder girdle by increasing blood flow in this important area. If you’re transitioning from your desk to the gym, then massaging this area after a period of immobility will help improve your posture and shoulder mobility.

Muscles affected by the roller: rhomboid muscles, upper and middle parts of the trapezius muscle.

How does it help. Rolling on your upper back improves shoulder mobility before a workout, preparing your body for the exercise. Plus, it’s a great exercise to use as an aid to any exercise that involves the upper back.

How and when to do it. Lay the roller horizontally on your upper back, raise your arms in a V-shape. Raise your hips a little and, pushing off with your legs, roll the roller over your upper back. Then hug yourself, placing each hand on the opposite shoulder, and repeat the same. Doing 10 rolls of each exercise as a warm-up and a mobility exercise between exercises for the upper body works great.

Muscle stretching with foam roller is a popular recovery method, which helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise and improve mobility. Body muscles that become tight and sore can interfere with exercise.

There is an opinion that the use of a foam roller can both positively and negatively affect the outcome. But there are many intermediate options. Stretching with a roller can be compared to a budget massage. The work of a professional massage therapist may be more efficient, but using a roller is more affordable and economical.

Upper back stretch

Before performing a bench press, deadlift, or squat, it is recommended work out the upper back with a roller. This will help relieve pain and stiffness, as well as improve the mobility of the shoulder girdle, increasing blood flow in this area. If you’re transitioning from working at your desk to exercising, massaging this area after a long period of inactivity can help improve posture and shoulder mobility.

Massaged muscles: rhomboid muscles, upper and middle parts of the trapezium.

How does it help. Prepares the shoulder girdle for training, improves pre-workout mobility and is a great exercise to fill in the gap between upper back exercises.

How and when to do it. Place the end of the roller under one buttock and the other leg on the ground with knee bent and elbows on the ground. Roll back and forth over the top of your pelvis, pushing off with your elbows, being careful not to roll over your hip joint. Perform 10-15 movements on each side as a warm-up or recovery workout between sets of heavy squats or deadlifts.

Help stretch the calf and thigh

Unlike the other exercises on this list, this It’s best to do it after a workout, not before.. Stretching after your workout will kick-start the recovery process and help your calves and thighs return to their normal length. Using a roller and towel provides the best stretch as you control the intensity using your ankles and towel.

Stretched muscles: calves (shin) (popliteal muscle, semilunar muscle of the thigh, biceps femoris) and ankle muscles.

How does it help. Performing this exercise after a leg workout will help improve recovery and reduce muscle soreness. In addition, better calf flexibility results in better knee stability.

How and when to do it. Sitting with a straight back, roll the roller down under your calves. Then stretch your knees and point your toes towards you. Then wrap the towel around your legs and pull your toes toward your body to stretch and lengthen your calves and ankle muscles. The harder you pull on the towel, the greater the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to a minute.

Roller for stretching the latissimus dorsi muscle (latissimus)

Latissimus dorsi used in almost all shoulder movementshelps the movement of the lower back and is an additional muscle for breathing.

The versatility of latissimus dorsi can lead to tension and pain, which affects your ability to lift weights in an overhead stand or squat and deadlift. Stretching this muscle with a foam roller is painful, but if you can tolerate the discomfort, it will improve shoulder health and movement.

Muscles to be stretched: latissimus dorsi (latissimus dorsi).

How does it help. Eliminating tension and stiffness in latissimus dorsi improves your ability to work with weight over your head and stand in the correct posture. In addition, you will better activate latissimus dorsi to keep your spine in a neutral position when doing squats and deadlifts.

How and when to do it. Lie on your side and place the foam roller under the muscle near the armpit on top of the latissimus dorsi. Stretch the arm closest to the ground above your head. The legs can be straight, or you can bend one 90 degrees for comfort. Rise up on the roller and gently roll it up and down the latissimus dorsi. Do 10-15 reps as a warm-up or at the end of your workout.

Author Petr Ermilin

Pyotr Yermilin – journalist, editor of Pravda.Ru

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