The foam roller is a very unsuspecting cylinder you may see at the gym you workout at and wonder what on earth it is for. Anyone who has used it, including me, may say it is not for the faint of heart for many reasons. I have had a love/hate relationship with the roller for about 5 years now but now I look forward to using it at least once daily if not 2-3X depending on the day and the workouts involved. Five reasons I love the roller and it’s usefulness include….

1. It gets deeper into the muscles more so than traditional static stretching which is particularly fabulous when I am sore or stiff after any type of workout and although it can be a bit painful to use, it is much more fun to roll than to just stand still during a static stretch so I tend to stretch longer.

2. It gets into those hard to reach area’s like the abductors and adductors and provides great relief to areas I did not even know were tight ergo improving my mobility and decreasing pain.

3. It is a great way to warm up before your workout. It is an active way of stretching and can help prepare the body for exercise .

4. It is a great way to cool down after a workout and a nice change from the traditional stretches.

5. It is a cheap form of self-massage that doesn’t leave your pocketbook empty and your body greasy when you are done!

The foam roller comes in many densities and lengths. The more dense the roller the more you will cringe when you use it. The foam roller is not necessarily for everyone but can certainly work out kinks in many areas of the body, especially the lower body after a hard workout or periods of prolonged sitting that can wreak havoc on our bodies. The cost is minimal ($20-$40) and the benefits are priceless!

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