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How to workout with a foam roller and why it's a great addition to your workout

Foam roller exercise is a muscle-building technique that can help reduce tension, pain, and inflammation, and increase the range of motion in joints. The roller can be an effective tool for warming up or recuperating before and after training.

The most popular roller is usually cylindrical in shape and made of dense foam rubber. But you can find foam rolls in different sizes and shapes, with varying degrees of stiffness.

How to choose a roll for a beginner?

Finding a foam roll that's right for you may require a method trial and error. Before you buy, try different rollers to find the one that suits you best.

Here are some types of rollers:

  • Smooth. Have a dense foam surface. They are best suited for those who are new to Styrofoam. This option is one of the cheapest.
  • Textured. They have a special relief. It is necessary for a deeper workout of muscles, eliminating tension and inflammation.
  • Massage sticks covered with foam. They can be used to deeply massage the legs or upper back.
  • Foam massage balls can be used for specific muscle areas. For example, to work out muscle nodes on the shoulders.
How to workout with a foam roller and why it's a great addition to your workout

Photo: istockphoto.com

What exercises can you do with the roller?

Keep in mind - if you have tense muscles, at first it may be painful for you to roll on a roller. Reduce the load on the roller to adjust the pressure. For example, if you are kneading your calves, use your hands to support your body and take some of the weight off the roller. To start, slowly roll the desired areas of the body for 10 seconds, then exercise for 30 to 60 seconds in one set.

Hand work

To start this exercise , you need to gently tighten your abdominal muscles to support the core. Then the hands will move in opposite directions: one rises to the head and the other to the thigh. They should swing as much as it is comfortable, without discomfort.

Pay attention to the fact that the back does not bend or move, and the ribs do not protrude when the arms are moved. Body stability on the right and left sides must be maintained.

Keep the lower leg muscles in good shape

This exercise from coach Ivan Ivanov will help to work out the lower leg muscles of each leg from all sides. To do this, place your hands behind your back and rest your hands on the floor. The left leg should be placed on a foam roller (preferably embossed so that the muscles work out as efficiently as possible), and the right leg should be placed on top of the left.

After that, the body should move back and forth 10-15 times. In itchange the position of the left leg for a while so that the muscles are worked out from all sides. After stretching one leg, repeat the same with the other.

Working out the waist

Take the rest on the elbows. There is a smooth cushion under the ankles. Very carefully, you need to turn on your side so that all the weight falls on only one hand. The second arm is extended in the air.

Move your hips left and right, as shown by trainer Ashley DeLeon. Please note that the back must always remain straight! This exercise will give you a sharper waistline.

Stretching the leg muscles

Sit in such a way that your back remains straight, your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle, with your toes extended. There is a roller behind you, palms on it, as in the instructor Tilly's video.

Slowly lean on the roller until the angle between your back and the floor is 45 degrees. At this time, the left leg is extended upward. Next time, do the same with the other leg. Engage your pelvic floor muscles and keep your abdominal muscles tense.

Mastering the double roller

This exercise is recommended for those who are already familiar with the roller.

Take a lying position like you're going to do push-ups. However, you should have two rollers under your arms and under your feet. Do regular push-ups, only now you have to make sure to keep your balance and not fall. This exercise from a professional Pilates trainer is much more effective than regular push-ups as it uses more muscles.

Despite all the benefits of a foam roller, do not forget that this practice has only a temporary effect on the muscles and is one of the aspects of maintaining the health of body tissues. In other words, this is a great addition to training, but it cannot completely replace them. Continuous strength work is recommended for real change. Remember to keep moving, drinking plenty of water, sleeping well, and eating healthy, nutritious foods to improve muscle performance and recovery time.

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