Alright before you read on, just check your shoulders for a second – are you hunched over at your computer or phone right now?
How about your butt? We’ll bet it’s a little sore from sitting all day too?
10 hours every day – that’s how long most of us spend sitting… no wonder we’re sore. Instead of orange is the new black – sitting is the new smoking (according to Dr James Levine).
The guidelines suggest; “you should sit for only 20 minutes out of every half hour, stand for 8 minutes, and then walk around for at least 2 minutes” … easy right? Uhhh, we think not.
Between work, transport, and the couch, an inordinate amount of time is spent seated causing aches and pains accumulate to accumulate.
If only you had an all-in-one physiotherapist, acupuncturist and masseuse just waiting at home to destress you from the day…
Enter please; THE FOAM ROLLER.
So what is a foam roller and what on earth does it do?
It may not have arms and legs like your usual therapists, but nothing packs a punch quite like this foam cylindrical tool.
When you sit at a desk all day – fascia, the body’s collagen-containing connective tissue, becomes inflamed.
Foam rolling is effective because it works on myofascial release. This reduces knots within the fascia through prolonged manual traction and sustained stretching.
The main pointers…
Releases daily pain and tension from sitting (bye-bye sore bums)
- Promotes blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissues
- Enhances toxin elimination (think; alcohol, pollutants, chemicals!!)
- Increases flexibility (*yogi mode activated*)
- Minimises inflammation and stressors on the body
- Speeds up exercise-induced pain and fatigue (because is sore really the new sexy??)
Not to mention, foam rolling has also been shown to reduce celluliteand stretch marks. How you might be wondering?? Because contrary to what people think, cellulite isn’t fat, but rather, unhealthy fascia.
Okay, okay so tell me… How do I actually foam roll?
Position the roller under your target muscle group
Roll your body in a slow-motion, up and down
Don’t rush – it takes time for your body to ease into the movement
Aim for 30-60 seconds on each area – and if you have the time – go over each muscle group a second time for max results
Don’t tense up, a little discomfort is normal – after all, it’s targeting deep tissue!
Use your other muscle to maintain stability… balance is key
Here are 3 of our go-to exercises for after a long day at the office:
Facedown, slowly work the roller up and down from just above the knee to below the hip. Use both elbows for support.
Use both hands for support and place one foot in front of your body to roll up and down your glutes.
FOR UPPER BACK:
Either stretch your arms out in front or behind your head, rolling the area of your upper back. Fair warning – this one’s a mini ab-workout at the same time!!
For more ideas on foam rolling, we love these two apps: