Muscle Support And Protection Or A Gimmick: The Foam Roller

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At one time new exercises were fascinating, and kept those of us interested in maintaining health engaged. Think of when aerobics was introduced, when yoga went mainstream at local gyms, when interval training or bootcamps were all making their first appearance. These days, everything is being thrown at a wall to see if it will stick.

Speaking of stick, there are classes with drum sticks. Sure, it’s exercise, but is it at the cost of reaching the bottom of the barrel, without any fresh ideas?

This brings us to the topic at hand, exercise equipment. Most of it is meant to work out the muscles, provide support, and even cushioning. Think of exercise mats, a gym mat or the newer rubber flooring tiles.

Other items making an appearance at gyms everywhere are foam rolling wands. They are hard to miss as they may pose a tripping hazard if left haphazardly in the middle of an already congested and busy gym floor.

Though,the foam roller is allegedly a way to encourage and perhaps achieve self-myofascial release. The SMR technique, as it is known for short, supposedly helps muscle recovery.

The good news is that physical therapists are the ones endorsing and using these tripping hazards. And, by association, athletes have adopted the foam roller use to prevent overactive muscle use.

Here’s how they work. And, they do work as it turns out. Though, just do not leave them in the middle of the floor, and watch where you walk. The soft tissue of a muscle, fascia, is the portion of the connective muscle that protects muscles and supports them.

Giving them a good pulseroll after a workout will help the soft connective tissue stay supple. This will encourage it to do its job more effectively. Roll on!

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