What Is a Foam Roller?

A foam roller helps increase flexibility while providing a mild massage therapy for before and after workouts. The piece of exercise equipment looks like a long slender cylinder that rolls on the ground much like a rolling pin.

Foam Roller Objectives

In most exercises that use the foam roller, you will apply pressure to the device with some body part and roll back and forth in short distances. This pressure allows blood to circulate in the body region that you place on the roller while stretching and flexing muscle fibers and ligaments.

Muscle contractions occur throughout foam roller exercises in both the eccentric and concentric manner. This means that your muscles will both lengthen and shorten through a thorough roller workout regimen while soothing any muscle pain or cramping. The rolling pressure motion helps muscles cool down rather than instantly tighten, relieving any possible soreness that you normally experience.

Foam Roller Exercises

This piece of exercise will completely stretch your entire body, including specific muscles like those in the arms and legs. Lower back stretches often involve laying flat on the roller and moving in a back and forth motion. Often times, the foam roller will target the muscle group in which it comes in contact with your body.

Other exercises such as hamstring stretching involves sitting on the roller so that it lies in the middle of your hamstring region. You then simply stable your bodyweight by placing your hands on the ground, suspending yourself off of the ground. Rolling back and forth will circulate the blood, much like a massage, in the back of your legs.


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