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Foam rollers are a valuable therapeutic self-massage tool that can be used for the entire body. Using a foam roller for self-massage is called foam rolling. Foam rolling is like a mini workout and a chiropractic, massage, and physical therapy session rolled into one product. It’s a fast, easy, and highly effective method to release tension and stress in the body and mind; like having your own massage therapist at your fingertips!
Foam rollers have been used and recommended to clients over the past few decades by massage therapists, personal trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists, yoga and pilates instructors. These health professionals integrate foam rollers into therapy and rehab sessions as well as fitness programs.
Foam rollers are made from dense foam material so they are durable and can maintain their shape for a fairly long time even under heavy load use. After prolonged use, if your foam roller begins to soften and warp, it is time to replace it with a new roller. To avoid dents and tears, do not stack anything on top of your roller when not in use. You can clean the foam roller by wiping it with a damp washcloth.
Foam rollers do not take up a lot of space and are reasonably priced, ranging from $10 to $50.
Foam rollers are cylindrical in shape and light in weight. They come in different sizes and colors and vary in firmness. There are two shapes of foam rollers and only one is used for self-massage. Full round foam rollers can be used for self-massage, as they can be rolled. Half foam rollers are the full round foam rollers cut in half and are not used for self-massage, as they cannot roll, but are useful for balancing exercises. Foam rollers come in different circumference sizes ranging from 4 inches to 8 inches. The most versatile and common size is the 6 inch round roller. The smaller and firmer the roller is, the deeper the massage pressure will be. Foam rollers can also vary in length sizes, ranging from 12 inches to 36 inches. The 12 inch length roller is good for space saving and portability purposes, but is limited on self-massage exercises. The full 36 inch length roller can be used for all self-massage exercises and therefore is the most useful. The color of a foam roller can sometimes help identify its firmness and any possible unique characteristics. However, don’t buy a foam roller based on color alone as it may be too soft or too firm for your self-massage preference. Always read the description of the roller you want to buy to make sure it has the firmness level you are looking for. Realistically you can use any size roller for self-massage exercises.
You can purchase foam rollers through health professionals, fitness facilities, spas, retail stores, fitness equipment companies, and online.