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Why Foam Roller Exercises for Tight Muscles Work

A lot of trainers and others are recommending foam roller exercises for tight muscles, as well as some kinds of muscle and joint pain. Foam rollers are a new kind of fitness aid. Foam roller design is very simple. The device consists of a cylindrical cone of resistant foam. This roller is placed between the body and the floor, or in other positions for various activities. Foam rollers can help with muscle conditions, but they are also used to promote agility and balance, and to strengthen the core muscles, such as those that stabilize the spine and support simple body motions.

Problems With Tight Muscles

Many us experience problems with tight muscles. These are similar to other conditions, in which soft tissue adheres to a muscle group (medical experts call this adherence) and causes the area to become tight. The tissue that can cause a problem is often referred to as fascia.

Using Foam Rollers

To relieve problems with tight muscles or fascia issues, the foam roller acts as a massaging tool. The user can position the foam roller beneath them and roll back and forth. The foam roller then connects with the muscle and underlying tissues, kneading them and making them looser, also improving some types of connective tissue problems. This is called myofascial release, and it's one of the main uses of foam rollers for pain therapy, muscle massage and overall fitness improvement.

Muscle Therapy Exercises

Some of the main common foam roller exercises target specific muscle groups for loosening any tight spots that the user might have. For example, if the individual lies on his or her side, rolling the foam roller from the hip to the knee, it works the body area known as the IT band, where some muscle and connective tissue problems can often occur.

Foam roller exercises can also be good for the lower back. Generally, the user lies face up with the foam roller under their upper or lower back. As they roll up and down on the roller, they work all of the spinal support muscle areas and loosen any tightness there.

A variety of other exercises work differ body areas. Foam rollers have been effective for many in eliminating tight spots, also called trigger areas, and improving range of motion and overall body response.

Half and Full Foam Rollers

Most of the above exercises are done with full cylinder rollers. As an alternative, fitness participants can use half foam rollers, where one side of the roller rests solidly on the ground, rather than rolling back and forth. Though half rollers are generally limited to specific kinds of use, they can be more helpful for activities where rolling back and forth is not part of the required motion for the user.

The foam roller exercises mentioned above are only a small part of what you can experience with a foam roller program. Take a look at all that can be done using these portable, simple tools.

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