A foam roller is a workout tool that can be used for self-massage. It serves as an effective tool to reduce tension and increase muscle length for a warm-up before the workout or for quick recovery after exercise. If used correctly, a foam roller can be a useful tool for improving your blood flow.

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So why are foam rollers important?

According to experts, people who used foam rollers have better performances about 24 to 72 hours after an exercise. Foam rollers help stimulate your muscles for optimal recovery and it also helps provide a better support system for your bones. They do this by reducing soreness after an exercise session, thereby quickening the recovery process.
Foam rollers are also important for use before workout, as they help in loosening the muscles, which promotes more efficient movement during the workout.

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Common Exercises to try out on a Foam Roller

Various foam roller workouts exist for both pre and post workout sessions. If these workouts are taken seriously, they could provide the benefits listed above and more. This post focuses on highlighting a few of those workouts and showing you how you can do them on a cylindrical foam roller.

1. Quadriceps Exercise:
Place the roller under your thighs and lie facing down. Place your elbows on the ground and prop yourself up. Roll back and forth from above your knee to your hip. You can either do this exercise on one leg at a time, or on both quads at the same time.

2. Adductor Exercise
While lying flat on your stomach, move one leg to the side and keep your knee bent. Place the cylindrical foam roller very close to your groin on the side where your extended leg is. Place your elbows on the ground to prop yourself up and roll your inner thigh, from your groin upwards.

3. Upper Back Exercise
Lie with your back on the roller, which should be positioned just below your shoulder blades in the middle of your back and at right angle to your spine. Next, put your hands carefully just behind your neck to serve as a support for your head. Then bring your elbows towards your chest to protract your shoulder blades. With your knees bent, raise your buttocks off the ground and roll back and forth from the middle of your back to just a few inches below your neck. Ensure you avoid sensitive areas around your neck and lower back. For this exercise, a long roller (about 24 to 36 inches) should be used as shorter rollers are not wide enough to cover your back.

4. Hamstring Exercise
Place the roller under your thighs and sit with your arms extended to the ground behind you for support. Roll back and forth from just above the knee to below your buttocks. Just like the Quadriceps exercise, you can choose to roll both hamstrings at the same time or work on one hamstring at a time.

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Whichever method(s) you choose to employ, whether it is the hamstring or quadriceps, always ensure you add foam roller workouts to your routines for more benefits you can think of pre or post workout.

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