EPOCH Adds to Their Growing Suite of Fitness Tools
The newest addition to EPOCH’s growing line of exercise tools is the foam roller.
When used effectively, foam rollers are meant to replicate the feeling of a therapist’s hands working on muscle tissue. This is why foam rolling is also referred to as self-myofascial release (SMR). You may know the inherit benefits of regular massage such as relieving inflammation, stiffness and soreness in muscles and surrounding joints. You may not have realized that you can replicate many of the benefits of regular massage treatment on your own with a little SMR work. Many high-performing athletes use the roller as an integral part of their workout preparation, training plan, or part of their recovery day routine for the inherent benefits it has on mobility and self-care.
Let's take a look at some of the benefits of this highly effective tool
Improve range of motion (ROM)
The combination of foam rolling and stretching has proven to alleviate muscle stiffness as a result of allowing muscle tissue to slide and move easier back to its proper length. A common area to think about here is the hip flexor mass. This is an area that can become very “tight” and “stiff” due to prolonged periods of time spent in postures like sitting.
● When the muscle tissue on the front side of your hip becomes excessively tight, this can create issues on the back side of the body, typically reflected in the low back area. If you spend a significant portion of your day seated, a great practice is to spend some time using a roller on this hip flexor mass to help relax and regain some length in this tissue.
Again when we spend a significant amount of time in certain postures, our body adapts to these positions. This means our body conforms to whatever we are doing. Many of us are spending extended periods of time on devices these days which can create problems for the posture of our upper back.
● Foam rolling can be pivotal for upper back postural heath, as your back muscles play a crucial role in an upright healthy posture. Our scapulae (shoulder blades) need to move freely to help with shoulder health and mobility.
Relax your body – de-stress
When we were are stressed we tend to hold a lot of tension in our body. Think of what happens when something scares you. Your muscles become tense and ready for fight or flight. The same thing happens when we are overloaded with stress responses all day long. Using your roller to target some important areas of your body while focusing on slow controlled exhales can help get you out of that fight or flight (sympathetic) state and into more of a relaxed state (parasympathetic).
● When you use the roller on a really tight or uncomfortable area, your first reaction will be to create tension and hold your breath. Actually, you want to be able to do the opposite and gain control of your breath and focus on some long, controlled, slow exhales. This is even a great strategy to use before bed to help you unwind and relax.
Important Foam Rolling Targets
Foam rolling drills can be easily self-performed at home and can really help your muscle tissue, posture and tension levels. If we had to identify a “Big 3” of important areas to target, they would be.
- Hip Flexor / Quadriceps
- Upper back / Lats
These are common areas of which we can become very stiff and tight due to our modern lifestyle. With the ability to hyper-focus on specific targeted areas, foam rolling should become an integral part of tissue health and recovery for anyone concerned with maximizing their movement and well-being.
We live in stressful times. We have so much coming at us these days and recovery should be an integral part of your fitness and lifestyle transformation. A little SMR work can definitely help with this process. This doesn’t have to be something that is going to take up more time in your day. This can easily be performed in just a couple of minutes with some focused breath work.
As much as we would all love to receive a professional massage by a registered therapist on a daily basis, this typically isn’t practical. What is practical is receiving many of the same benefits by performing a little bit of focused SMR work on your own -anywhere and anytime.
We added this important tool to our growing line of fitness equipment because we know how important this process is to becoming a more durable version of you.
Enhance your movement, take care of your muscle tissue and give your body the recovery care it needs with EPOCH’s new foam roller. If you want to gain more insight into fitness, nutrition, well-being, and productivity, check out our latest articles including ‘Train Like an Athlete’ and ‘Listen to Your Body’. Also, be sure to check out our minimalist-suite of training tools including the tried-and-true kettlebell.