Foam Rollers have previously played a role in our classes to enhance chest stretches, improve balance and bringing awareness to controlling abdominal region during exercises.
They have been used to improve range in movement in shoulders too as well as helping to release tight muscles (legs, glutes, shoulders).
When we used Foam Rollers lying on the back, it helped to relax all of those "rigging" muscles either side of the spine.
They are a great tool to use just to lie on at the end of the day to reduce tension in the spine.
Foam Rollers come in many different sizes densities and shapes. Most are smooth but there are some with grooves and dimples. Some are short and some are skinny. They all have different purposes to suit the individual.
So how do you know which is best for you?
Firstly you need to decide why you want/ need one.
-for muscle release work
-to exercise with
-to relax the spine
-need to travel with it?
For most, the 90cm smooth roller is the most popular. With this you can simply lie on it to relax, exercise with it and do your muscle release work.
When choosing your Foam Roller to exercise with, you will need a firm one as opposed to one that squishes. If it turns out to be too hard to perform certain exercises, you can always place a towel over it for a while.
Foam Rollers can be used in so many more ways. To enhance and adapt many exercises. So, for those of you who have a Foam Roller at home (maybe you might go and buy one), we have found 2 videos of mat work incorporating a Foam Roller for you to try.
The first is only about 15 mins long and throughout the workout, you will be on your back. There is a mixture of exercises we have done on the mat in class as well as a couple of adaptations of Reformer exercises.
This second clip runs for half an hour. In it, the instructor again incorporates and adapts many classical mat moves, with and without the roller. There's some balance type moves, side lying work. It's quite reminiscent of our classes I think.
We would love to hear your feedback about how you went.
As always, please let us know what else you would like us to source for you. It's a minefield out there.