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Self-Massage For Pain Relief

During the Ramadan month, exercise may be difficult for those fasting. However, you can spend 10-mins foam rolling and loosening up those tight muscles. Today, we share with you 5 areas that you can foam roll, to achieve comfort of movement in your daily life.

You may have seen or heard of some people rolling themselves on a cylinder-ish foam/pipe in the gym. Ever wondered, “What is that for?”

Doing foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage.  Myofascial release is the fancy name for foam rolling, a self-massage technique that uses compression to help roll out muscle spasm or tight knots that have developed over time.  It is important to include foam rolling in your workout routine because it helps to relieve muscle soreness by increasing circulation to the muscles.  Myofascia is the combination of muscles and the fascia, which is the connective tissue wrap around the muscles.  Regular foam rolling helps to restore muscle flexibility, break down scar tissue and soft tissue adhesion. Foam rolling offers the same benefits as sport massage – minus the big price tag.

Here are the 5 important stretches which you should do with your foam roller.  Roll for 1 minute on each body part and stay longer on the tender spot.

1. IT Band Roll

IT Band is a layer of connective tissue which runs from the outside of the hip to the knee.  To roll your IT band, lie on your left side with the foam roller on the outside of your left thigh.  Use your left hand to pop up your torso. Then, use your left hand and right foot to help you roll to the side of your hip over the foam roller. Roll back and forth from hip to the knee. Take extra time on any tender area.   Avoid rolling over the bony area.

Most runners often suffer from knee pain due to tightness in the IT band.  It is hard to stretch the IT band because it is not a muscle, but a band of tissue.  Foam rolling is a simple and effective way to self-massage the IT band at home.

2., Glutes(Butt) Roll

First, sit on the foam roller, cross your right leg over to the left in a figure 4 position. Then, place both your hands on the floor to balance.  Lean slightly towards the right side. Roll your hip back and forth to massage the right side of the glutes. Cross your left leg over and repeat on the left side.

 

3. Calf roll

Place your right ankle on the foam roller and then place your left ankle over your right ankle.  Place both hands next to your hips and press your palms onto the mat to lift your hips up.  Roll back and forth to target the full length of your calf muscles. Switch legs and repeat rolling on the left calf.

4. Quads and Hip Flexor roll

Lie facing down on a mat with a foam roller placed just on top of your right knee.  Cross your left ankle over your right ankle. Then using your forearms for support, roll your whole body back and forth to roll the entire front side of your right thigh from the hip to the top of the knee. Alternatively, you can also bend your left knee and place it on the mat for extra support. Then using your forearms and your left knee, move your whole body back and forth as described.

5. Upper Back roll

Lie on your back with your knees bent and foam roller placed under your upper back. Interlace your fingers behind your neck for support.  Lift up your hip and roll up and down from the upper back and mid back.

Stretching is beneficial but it is insufficient when there are knots in your muscles.  The only way to remove muscle knots is direct pressure like sport massage or foam rolling.  A few minutes of foam roller a day keeps muscle soreness and injuries away!

References:

1.http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/almost-magical-foam-roller

2.http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/lookup/filter/equipment/id/14/equipment/foam-roll

3.http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/training/foam-roll.html

 

 

 

 

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