If there is one piece of fitness equipment Cass Fitness feels just about everybody needs, it is a foam roller. Even if you have not made the commitment to start an exercise routine yet, your body will thank you by using a foam roller. Why should you be using it? The self-myofascial benefits provides relief for your soft tissue muscles, which tend to become tight in everyday life. This is key to help prevent injuries. If you exercise, it is recommended to use the foam roller before and after your routine since you engage in a lot of repetitive activity (such as running) and put a lot of pressure on your muscles. If you sit at a desk all day, your hip flexors are extremely tight, often contributing to lower back and knee pain. Now, some people may think your crazy for bring a foam roller to your office, and think you may even look goofy. However, get them to try it and they will see for themselves. If you travel a lot, then you need to have one handy for when you stop at rest areas. Your back will continue to get stiffer as your muscles continue to tighten up.
All you have to do is put the foam roller on the ground and allow the weight of your body to press into the surface of the roller. You can use it for your thoracic spine (Mid Back), Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius (Which helps form the Calf muscle), Piriformis (A muscle in your glutes), and your Latissimus Dorsi (Lat muscles in your back). Start off with a softer foam roller. Then, when your body gets used to it, move up to a firmer foam roller, which will penetrate deeper into your soft tissue. You will feel a bit of soreness at first, but that is perfectly normal. Start with the foam roller at a proximal (closest to your body) position, then roll slowly outward. Here are a couple foam rollers CASS Fitness uses and recommends:
CASS Fitness recommends THIS FOAM ROLLER for complete beginners.
CASS Fitness recommends THIS FOAM ROLLER for a deep, intense self-myofascial release!