One of my favorite gifts to give, is the gift of wellness. Part of transitioning folks into having their own wellness plan, is introducing foam rolling into their lives. Foam rollers usually run between $20-60 and can be found at a sport store or even a Target/Walmart. As a good colleague once said, "foam rolling is a poor man's massage"!
Most clients, when recieving their first foam roller, usually look at these pieces of foam much like how my puppy, Luda, is looking at mine:
It is important to take note that a tool used in its correct setting can make life easy, but it can also be used inappropriately and hinder your quality of life.
Youtube is a great resource of free information, reminders and you'll find that as you watch these short tutorial videos there are a few COMMON take aways:
*Try to avoid rolling the lower back, IF your lower back gives you an issue (not to be confused with, AVOID FOREVER).
*Breathe through each movement (meaning, if you find yourself straining AKA holding your breath... chances are, you're not getting the full benefits of the foam roller myofascial release)
*Which segues into, EASE into your stretches/release (you DON'T have to LITERALLY ROLL the entire foam roller session).
*If you don't or haven't foam rolled in your life, then the process with your pain receptors will be hypersensitive/PAINFUL at FIRST (this also indicates the adhesions/"knots" your muscles have built up through the years).
*The smoother the surface area of the foam roller, the less precise those little points can dig in!! If this is your first few go rounds, don't scare yourself away, by using the non-smooth foam roller as your first foam roller. It'll still be painful, promise.
*Last, but MOST importantly give yourself permission to modify as you need to, bending your arms/legs, use blankets, pillows props to help you not put tension on your knees, elbows, neck ect.
Hope this was helpful!? HAPPY FOAM ROLLING!
In the mean time, here are a few folks that I enjoy their insight about foam rolling tidbits: Athlean X, Global Cycling Network and Howcast