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How Foam Roller Exercises Strengthen Your Core

Feb 11, 2010

Foam roller exercises can be effective for enhancing a fitness routine in many ways. These new tools have potential for pain relief, stretching and muscle work, as well as in developing a greater range of motion. Foam roller exercises can provide a lot of work for the core muscle groups that support the body, including spinal support muscles, abs and lower body core elements. Here are some aspects of using the foam roller that can help strengthen and tone your body's core.

  • Balancing with the Foam Roller - One of the main ways that foam roller tools help with the core is by creating specific balance challenges. A full cylinder foam roller is something that has inherent instability built into it. That means that when a user sits on top of the foam roller, or balances the body on it in some way, the core muscle groups each respond in helping to right the body and maintain the right position. When these imbalance challenges are presented, key core muscle groups kick in to provide immediate body response. When this happens on a continual basis, you're getting some good core work into a routine.
  • Self Propelling on the Foam Roller - A lot of exercises that users do with a full cylinder foam roller involve rolling the entire body up and down, with the roller acting as a single "wheel" or conveyor. Lower back rolls, leg rolls and sitting rolls are all examples of this self-contained body motion. So what muscle groups are helping out with this action? In addition to work for the upper and lower back muscles for the limbs that are supporting the body, there's also a lot of core work getting done. This is another way that foam rollers tend to strengthen the body's core.
  • Meeting Resistance Challenges - In foam roller exercises where the body is supported by the arms or legs, users are also taking advantage of the body’s known resistance to generate some strength training. The core muscles can also be involved in this work.
  • Promoting Blood Flow and Loosening Muscles - Foam roller work improves blood flow by working various parts of the body. In addition, working out with foam rollers can loosen some muscles (pros call this myofascial release), and therefore help to provide better conditioning for further activities.

All of these aspects of foam roller exercises help get the core muscle groups involved, for an overall figure, firmer body and better athletic capacity to meet the challenges that may be part of your power workout or other routine. For more on using foam rollers and how it leads to weight loss, a better core and a lot more, check out specific activity schedules that show a range of upper body and lower body moves with the full or half cylinder foam roller. Think about fitting foam roller work into your fitness menu for a diversified routine that can include the above elements of massage, resistance work and core strengthening.

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