At the moment I keep seeing women at the gym rolling their buttocks, legs and other various body parts over these strange, long cushion-y tubes – and the trend seems to be growing.
So I can’t be the only one wondering – what is a foam roller and how does it work?
Personal trainer and holistic health and wellness coach, Kirsty Welsh, describes foam rollers as a self-massaging and therapeutic tool for your body. Rolling and rubbing your body over the foam (“self-myofascial release”, if you want to get fancy) helps release pressure which builds up in your muscles and fascia, which is the connective tissue.
“If you think of the white skin around a mandarin, we have that sort of stuff in and around our body and it can get tight,” Kirsty explains.
Working these knots out of your body with a roller helps to prevent injuries and, according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, it can also improve your body’s flexibility.
“It seriously is one of the best investments you can make for your body,” Kirsty says.
Here are Kirsty’s pointers for getting the most out of a foam roller.