It has been over three years since I posted about foam rollers. I know I post a lot about Nia because I teach it, but I am surprised I have not followed up with some additional posts about foam rollers. I think they might have become more common since my last post. I have seen them in gyms now, whereas I had not seen them there before. They have moved into mainstream exercise and are not just for the more therapeutic type of movements forms. It is nice to see them being used more frequently because they are a great piece of exercise equipment. They are affordable and portable. A great combination for exercise equipment. Typically they are 4 inches or 6 inches in diameter and they are 12 to 32 inches long. They are used in their whole form – round – or cut in half length wise. The different lengths are used for different things . . . obviously. So goes for the whole round or the half round.
Since the foam roller is a great tool to use for people ranging from “new-to-exercise” to serious athletes it is nice to have a variety of them. The halved rollers can be used in the beginning of an exercise program to allow the body to be accustomed to standing on a rounded surface. The flat sides would be placed on the ground while you stand on the rounded sides. This could be used as a first step in a conditioning progression. Flipping the rollers over and using them on carpet could be used as the next step. The halved rollers flat side up on carpet. The carpet would help keep the rounded side of the rollers from being really slippery. Then the progression could be the halved rollers on a hard smooth surface. The smooth surface of the floor would provide the additional challenge. Next graduating to the long halved roller. You could start on carpet then once mastered move the roller to a smooth surface. Eventually moving on to the whole roller.
That is just an example of how the foam rollers can be used for more than just stretching. Standing on foam rollers in the aforementioned progression would be a way to improve core strength and balance. And that was just a quick and easy example. There are many things that can be added to the information above to either make it easier or more difficult and/or to lengthen the progression.
So foam rollers are not just for stretching and improving flexibility and mobility they can be used for improving strength, coordination, and balance. They are a great thing to add to an exercise program. There are a lot of different exercise you can do with them. I am not going to wait another three years to share some of them with you. I am going to be posting some in my next few posts. So stay tuned.
Have you seen foam rollers in your gym? Have you seen people do exercises with them? Do you exercise with a foam roller?