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How to Use a Foam Roller to Improve Your Training

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A foam roller is an incredible tool for anyone who is engaging in intense training and workouts. Whether you are an avid runner, are involved in a regular strength training program, or a competitive athlete; foam rolling is a great technique to improve performance.

First let me describe how and why the foam roller works. Everyone has what is called superficial fascia, which is connective tissue located just below the skin. This is the stuff that connects muscles, blood vessels, bones and nerves in the body. Together with the muscles this creates the myofascia system.

When people are training hard, have had injuries, or do not stretch enough, the fascia can become tight and bundled together. What this means in the real world is that everything feels tight and restricted, usually causing some discomfort or even a reduction in overall training performance.

The work on a foam roller will actually release the tension and create space in the fascia, giving the area more movement.

The foam roller can be used on most major muscle areas including the quadriceps, hamstrings, IT band, upper and lower back, and the shoulder girdle. When using the foam roller, the individual will place the area they want to work on the roller and roll slowly, eventually moving through the entire muscle area, concentrating on the "tight" areas. When doing this, the individual will likely feel knots or a "pins and needles" type of a feeling. This is normal and regular foam rolling will reduce pain and discomfort.

This self myofascial release technique is important for anyone with any training background and will improve performance, reduce the risk of injury, reduce chronic and acute pain, improve joint mobility, and improve overall movement quality.

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