We have recently announced the launch of our cork yoga accessories collection. One of the newest additions is a cork roller: a multi-purpose tool that can be used for self-massage or as an exercise/yoga prop.
Read on to learn more about massage rollers and the benefits of regularly using one.
WHAT IS A MASSAGE ROLLER?
A massage roller is a multi-purpose tool that can be used for self-massage or as an exercise prop to help you build strength and align your body.
Everyone can benefit from the regular use of a roller, as it can help prevent the negative effects of sitting down all day, standing for prolonged periods of time or pre or post-workout.
WHAT DOES USING A MASSAGE ROLLER DO?
Our daily habits and lifestyle shape our body’s muscles; an impact or injury, a tough workout, repetitive motions or simply sitting for too long, often results in pain, stiffness and reduced quality of movement.
To understand the benefits of massaging with a roller, let’s first take a close look at our muscles.
Our muscles are surrounded by soft tissue called Fascia. Fascia contains and connects every structure in your body. The Fascia that surrounds and binds our muscles is called Myofascia.
Myofascia hardens when static, constricting your muscle fibres, which leads to poor blood and oxygen circulation. Restricted muscles limit your range of movement and tense up your body.
When massaging your body with a roller you are imposing mechanical stress on the Myofascia. The pressure from the massage roller stimulates the Fascia and restores oxygen-rich blood flow to the constricted muscle fibres. This softens the Myofascia by breaking up adhesions and returning it to a flexible state – a technique called self-myofascial release.
FIVE BENEFITS OF A MASSAGE ROLLER
1. RELIEVE PAIN
Our habits and lifestyle shape our muscles and movement, often resulting in pain and dysfunction. Using a roller to massage your body’s soft tissue improves circulation and alleviates pain.
2. AID RECOVERY
Damage to muscle fibres inflicted by an injury or workout causes muscle tension. A massage roller breaks up scar adhesions, reduces tightness and accelerates healing.
3. IMPROVE POSTURE
Your muscles can become chronically shortened or lengthened in their adaptation to your lifestyle. A roller massager restores muscle balance and improves the alignment of your spine: contributing to better posture.
4. BUILD STRENGTH
Unlike other massage tools, a roller brings a challenging element to your fitness routine.
When used as a prop to build core strength, a roller introduces instability to your exercises, which intensifies the engagement of your core muscles.
A massage roller can also be used as a yoga prop to assist balance, alignment and joint relief.
5. STRESS RELIEF
Consistent use of a massage roller can help you to de-stress by massaging away the knots and aches developed over the course of a day to a standard usually only offered by a deep tissue massage.
HOW TO USE A MASSAGE ROLLER
Place the roller under your muscle (e.g. legs, back, neck), apply pressure with your body weight and roll slowly.
Use your roller at least three times per week for the best results.
DURATION OF EACH EXERCISE
Listen to your body and roll for as long as it feels comfortable. Usually, 20–30 seconds provides an adequate release.
It is normal to feel some pain when rolling – but not too much. Rolling should induce a ‘good’ pain: neither uncomfortable nor effortless. Reduce the pressure if you can’t maintain a steady breathing rhythm. After rolling, your muscles should feel relaxed, rejuvenated and supple.
WHEN TO USE
Roll whenever you feel like it, but especially before and after a workout. Additionally, rolling before bedtime gives you a more comfortable sleep, and rolling in the morning primes your body for a productive day.
WHAT YOU NEED
Aside from the roller, performing your exercises on a non-slip yoga mat increases your safety and comfort. Use your roller in an open space where you have room to fully extend your arms and legs. Tie back long hair and avoid thick, baggy clothing. Remove your shoes if you plan to stand on the roller or massage your feet.
Inhale through your nose during the easier part of a movement. Exhale through your mouth during the harder part of a movement.
NOVEME CORK ROLLER
As opposed to foam rollers, a cork massage roller offers higher density, providing a more intense release. Another advantage is that a cork roller will not lose its firmness over time.
Moreover, it has been designed to make for a beautiful addition to the décor of your home. Handcrafted in Portugal by a true artisan using raw cork bark: it’s more than exercise equipment, it’s literally a piece of nature.
Woodworth, S. (2017) Foam Roller Exercises: Relieve Pain, Prevent Injury, Improve mobility, Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Goom, T. (2012) Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, Soar Hide! – A guide to Foam Rolling, Running Physio [Online]. Available at https://www.running-physio.com/foamroller/