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A foam roller: what is it and what use is it?

  1. You may have seen foam rollers in your regular sports shop. They are usually large plastic cylinders called â € œfoam rollersâ € or â € œmassage rollers. So you use them - the name says it all - to give yourself a handy massage.

  2. You may have seen foam rollers in your regular sports shop. They are usually large plastic cylinders called “foam rollers” or “massage rollers”. So you use them - the name says it all - to give yourself a handy massage.

  1. But why would you want to buy such a roller exactly for that? Why is it so important to loosen up your muscles every now and then before or after exercise? And does a foam roller really work that well, or is the hype a bit exaggerated? In today's blog we will discuss all these questions in detail! This way you can decide for yourself whether a foam roller could be useful for you.

What is a foam roller?

  1. A foam roller is, just as you would expect, a roller made of foam. It is a handy tool to be able to massage yourself. It often has the shape of a cylinder, but there are certainly other materials available. Think, for example, of smaller balls, with which you can roll more specifically over certain areas.

  2. A foam roller is, exactly as you would expect, a roller made of foam. It is a handy tool to massage yourself with. Often it has the shape of a cylinder, but there are certainly other materials available. Think, for example, of smaller balls, with which you can roll more specifically over certain areas.

  1. The material of a foam roller is not always exactly the same. There are harder and softer models that stimulate your muscles more firmly or less firmly. And to tackle your back, there are massage balls that you can use against the wall.

Overactive muscles

  1. What exactly do you need such a foam roller for? In short, this tool appears to be a great way to target overactive muscles. Overactive muscles are muscles that never really relax again. This can be related to stress, but also, for example, to unbalanced training. Overactive muscles often first of all lead to strong cramps that just won't go away.

  1. In addition, they can also cause problems for other muscles in the environment. When they do not function properly themselves, other muscles suddenly have to bear part of the load. In the long run, you may end up with a worse attitude. So it is wise to do something about it as soon as possible!

  2. In addition, they can also cause problems for other muscles in the environment. After all, when they themselves are not functioning properly, other muscles suddenly have to bear part of the load. In the long run, you may end up with a worse attitude. So it is wise to do something about it as soon as possible!

Trigger points

  1. It is best to tackle overactive muscles by looking for trigger points with the foam roller. These are the 'knots' where the muscle is most tightly attached. They are fairly easy to find: these are the points that hurt when you press them. You can have several of these spots within one muscle; the more there are, the worse it will function.

  2. It is best to tackle overactive muscles by looking for trigger points with the foam roller. These are the â € nodesâ € ™ where the muscle is most attached. They are fairly easy to find: these are the points that hurt when you press them. You can have several of these spots within one muscle; the more there are, the worse it will function.

  1. The trigger point itself is the worst; the part around it is a lot less painful. By carefully applying pressure with the foam roller, these points can slowly relax again. The blood flow improves again, and with it the functioning of the muscle.

How do you use a foam roller?

  1. So the purpose of a foam roller is to relax muscles by gently applying pressure on it. The best way to do that is to use your body weight. You first put the foam roller on the ground. Then gently roll over it with the body part you want to relax. Your own weight then immediately creates pressure.

  1. Roll slowly on the roller until you reach a point where it hurts more. Try to find the core of the pain point and hold the pressure there for 10 to 20 seconds. It may feel uncomfortable, but try to relax as much as possible!

  2. Roll slowly over the roller until you reach a point where it hurts more. Try to find the core of the pain point and hold the pressure there for 10 to 20 seconds. It may feel uncomfortable, but try to relax as much as possible!

Advantage foam roller

  1. Especially if you often suffer from stiff muscles, a foam roller can be a solution. After all, you want to start a workout with a good blood supply and relaxed. A massage for 15 minutes with the foam roller is a good way to make that possible.

  1. The big advantage is of course that you can perform the massage yourself in this way. You can also visit the sports masseur every time, but that quickly becomes an expensive joke. Moreover, in this way it takes much less time to look up all your trigger points and tackle them.

  2. The big advantage is of course that you can perform the massage yourself in this way. You can also visit the sports masseur every time, but that quickly becomes an expensive joke. Moreover, in this way it takes much less time to search for all your trigger points and tackle them.

Disadvantage foam roller

  1. A small warning is in order here. Anyone who expects a foam roller to deliver a relaxing massage will be disappointed. Just as a sports massage can be quite painful, massaging with a foam roller is sometimes no fun. After all, those trigger points remain tense and uncomfortable!

  1. To ease the discomfort, it is wise to start with a softer roller. Also, don't use too much body weight. That way you can get used to the feeling of the stimulation of your trigger points. Over time you will find that you start to appreciate the massage - but it may take a while.

When not to use?

  1. A foam roller is not a suitable choice for everyone. In some circumstances, stimulating overactive muscles is likely to do more harm than good. Some circumstances in which you can better leave the foam roller are:

  1. Not sure whether and how you can use a foam roller? You can always consider asking a sports masseur for help and instructions once. This way you can be sure that you use the foam roller in the right way and that you do not reinforce injuries by using it!



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