I can remember more than a decade ago, when the health club where I worked invested in dozens of foam rollers. We used most of them in the studio in our Pilates and core classes.
Other rollers were placed out on the fitness floor, where snarky muscle-adorned men laughed as we trained and “rolled” our clients with them. “What are you guys, a bunch of circus trainers with all of this core stuff on giant balls and cylinders?”
Little did they know that this core stuff as well as foam rollers would withstand the fate of most fading fitness fads, and have rolled on to many uses.
Take for instance, physical therapists, massage therapists and chiropractors, teaching classes on myofascial release with the use of foam rollers. In fact, the Huffington Post says using a foam roller is “like getting a massage for free.”
According to the MayoClinic.com, “Myofascial (mi-oh-FASH-al) release is a manual therapy technique often used in massage. The technique focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues — the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles.”
And what, you may ask, is “self myofascial release?” According to BreakingMuscle.com, “Self Myo-fascial release also known as 'foam rolling,' has transformed from a once mysterious technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists to a familiar everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness.”
Before my Pilates classes, many of my clients would come into the studio and roll on the rollers before getting on the Reformer.
According to HuffingtonPost.com, “Foam rolling doesn't just help to reduce existing aches and pains, but it's also a great way to warm up cold muscles before a workout.”
In a future article I'll explain how you can also use foam rollers for Pilates and core strengthening exercises during your workout.
Experts were quoted on NYTimes.com as saying that foam rolling can also help with exercise recovery. “Undulating over foam can be beneficial after exercise also, Dr. Button said.