If you guessed the foam roller, you are right! The super-versatile piece of equipment is known for working out muscle knots and breaking down adhesions, which also helps increase blood flow. And the team members at HealingRadius are no strangers to its benefits. Our digital content manager, Eli, says, “I’ve been using my foam roller for years and I love it. I’ve got some issues with tight hamstrings and lower back pain, and using a foam roller to stretch out my hamstrings and quads has been incredibly beneficial for both.” And Casey, our social media strategist, uses the foam roller to loosen tense muscles, saying, “Working at a desk all day, my back gets pretty stiff, and it’s nice to go home and stretch out. The pressure from pressing my back on the foam roller really relieves the tension in my lower back.” Let’s see what else it can do!
Extends your stretch
A perfect prop for stretching, the foam roller can heal your back and other parts of the body, including your calves, hamstrings, quads, outer thighs, shoulders, and even your behind. To work your upper back, for example, start by lying on your back with the foam roller underneath the uppermost part. Cross your arms in front of you, then raise your hips off the ground, placing your weight on the roller. Shift your weight from side to side while rolling the foam from the upper part to the middle part.
Massages your muscles
Want a deep tissue massage without shelling out the big bucks? Us, too! Similar to massage therapy, the foam roller can improve range of motion and relieve muscle soreness and joint pain. It also breaks up adhesions (as mentioned earlier) and scar tissue while speeding up the healing and recovery process after exercising. Begin by positioning yourself on top of the foam roller, utilizing your body weight to roll back and forth over it—slowly! Also, allow your body to relax instead of using your arms for support.
Cracks your back
Assuming you have no pre-existing issues with your backside, the foam roller works wonders for back cracking! And it’s nothing to be scared of. You’re just loosening your spine and conditioning a possibly tight body. So, lying on top of the foam roller with it positioned horizontally under your upper back, bend your knees so that your feet are on the ground and your behind is off the floor. Then cross your arms in front of you and roll up and down your spine, making sure to avoid your neck and lower back.
Something else that we thought was cool is the way foam rollers are often used as a yoga prop. For instance, during the Corpse Pose, you can slip a foam roller under your knees to relieve some pressure! Anywho, if you’re currently using one, we’d love it if you could share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below (what you like about it, how it helps you—you know, the good stuff!) If you aren’t already using one, you’re missing out on some serious benefits. HealingRadius wishes you a healthy (and pain-free) lifestyle!
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.