About a month ago I got a new thing to play around with: a foam roller! You don’t know what a foam roller is? Some people call it a torture instrument, but I call it my personal massage therapist.
Here’s why you should get a foam roller
Everyone should have a foam roller. I love mine deeply.
Does anyone have a brand they recommend, or a place to buy?
I just picked mine up for 20 dollars at Winners (like a Canadian Marshalls/TJ Maxx). Its a tube made out of foam, don’t worry about the brand.
Unpopular opinion time: foam rollers are a short term, and mostly ineffective, fix. They don’t increase flexibility and the relief provided only lasts a day or two until your body readjusts right back to where it was.
Personally, I’ve found that they don’t really do anything for my body (not enough pressure, not dexterous enough) and tend to cease it up prior to training rather than creating opening. They do feel nice after a workout, but again, they only provide temporary relief.
Basically, I’m asking everyone to be skeptic about foam rolling and to put your scientist goggles on!
Foam rolling may feel good for some, but why? What does it actually do? And do we actually need SMR? Why do people do this in the first place? Does stretching actually increase athletic performance, like many people claim it does? Why do we stretch? Do massages actually provide long-term relief? How do we solve chronic pain? Can we really claim that there is a one-size fits all approach to healing people?
Just some food for thought.
Alternative opinions: Another interesting perspective, interesting read regarding foam rolling and the IT band, does fascia really matter?, does foam rolling actually increase ROM?