ThIs video is a sample of using the Foam Roller for Self Myofascial Release technique. Go on, give it a try, you’ll love an ‘ouch’ sort of way!


You bought a foam what? What’s it for? What do you do with it again? YOU BOUGHT IT TO EXERCISE, STRETCH AND EXPERIENCE DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE WITH ! Well done you! This firm cylinder shaped prop is used to challenge your balance, stretch your spine and relieve pain in the body.

If you would like to join me for a full exercise experience on the Pilates Mat using the foam roller please visit for a free one day trial of my video subscription. There you will find dozens of videos of different themes for all levels of ability.

IT MAKES YOU FEEL MORE RELAXED Tension...there is a lot of it around in Lockdown, and your foam roller can help! A medium to firm foam roller is equivalent to a deep tissue massage, but here we will call it Self Myofascial Release (SMR). A love/hate relationship really, it’s pain that feels good. More specifically myofascial tissue is a thin layer of connective tissue, which runs throughout the entire body to protect and support your muscles and bones. This strong connective tissue is not just structural, although it has nerve endings like our skin. So when one is stressed, this Myofascail reacts by tightening. When pressed with the foam roller the nerves in the tissue send a message to the brain of pain, and the brain sends a message back to release tension and heal. This Self Myofascial Release technique breaks up tight fascial tissue, addressing trigger points - resulting in a more relaxed state of being with less tension and pain.

RECOVER FASTER & INJURY PREVENTION Whether you are sitting still for hours at your desk, or doing regular exercise and repetitive movement, tension on muscles causes them to shorten and feel tight and knotted. SMR will increase blood flow to the area you roll on, smoothing out knots, and lengthening your muscles back out. SML before and after exercise will help to minimise soreness, so you can keep training without long periods of recovery.

Keeping your muscles loose and surrounding joints mobile will help you to increase your flexibility and, therefore, reduce the risk of over-stretching and injury. FALL IN LOVE WITH STRETCHING Just 10 minutes of SMR Sis beneficial before you stretch. Helping you to relax before lengthening your muscles. Doing both rolling and stretching, rather than one or the other, can be effective in achieving a greater range of motion in the body leading to better athletic performance. But hey, if you just hate stretching....make sure you keep rolling! As the Rawhide song goes......’rollin, rollin, rollin, let’s just keep on rollin...’

IS FOAM RILLING SAFE? Foam rolling is generally safe. You want to avoid rolling right over small joints such as ankles, knees and elbows. You also want to get clearance from your GP or Physio if you have had a muscle tear, or bone break. Pregnant women may enjoy foam rolling, but should stay away from lying on their backs during their final trimester, and avoid rolling the calves as it may trigger labour! HOW TO PICK A FOAM ROLLER Size Matters: A shorter roller (around 30-45cm) will be easier to use to massage into small areas or the body. Long rollers (around 90cm) allow you to lie your whole spine on the roller and are more useful in exercise class. Varying diameters: A smaller round roller will get deeper into the shoulders and neck area. Smooth or Bumpy: Smooth rollers are perhaps best for first time users. They roll smoothly (of course) over the body so the pressure is even and the pain less intense than a textured roller. Rollers with raised ridges, or bumps work deeper into the tissue targeting trigger points and knots. Roll with Conviction: Go for medium to firm rollers which will provide support and the pressure you need. A soft roller will eventually lose it’s shape and won’t last as long.

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