Banish toxins and tension (Katarina Kuljača)
A roller for longer and tighter muscles
One of the main goals of exercise is to reshape the body. There are, of course, other benefits, such as increased flexibility, improved elasticity, more energy and a good night’s sleep after a long day. However, the top priorities are still a slimmer waist and hips, and thinner thighs.
At the Feel Pilates studio we often end our sessions with a turn on the “foam roller”, a contraption that provides “myofascial release”. The question on everyone’s minds must now be: “What is a ‘fascia’?”
The fascia is a thin membrane that coats muscles and other internal organs. Picture a kind of thin suit that encloses each muscle, internal organ and ligament individually, impacting body posture. Functional fascia is flexible and limber, whereas the neglected one becomes rigid and knotted. This state affects muscles, and entire body. When a muscle on one side of a joint is tense, it impacts muscles on the other side. For example, strained back muscles adversely affect muscles of the abdomen. Myofascial massage helps put the body back in balance. In her book called “Taller, Slimmer, Younger”, Lauren Roxburgh mentions that the state of the fascia can even affect muscle formation. There is more information on myofascial release exercises and their muscle-elongating and posture-improving results in her book.
“How to make our muscles longer and tighter using a roller?’’
Lauren Roxburgh has shared her fascination with this method in her book, claiming that her clients were amazed at the transformation they have undergone through this type of exercise. The foam roller exercises in combination with auto massage, relieves the tissue of tension and clears out toxins , but the fascia tends to reap the most benefit. Assisted by the full body weight, the roller softens the fascia which is naturally less elastic than muscles. The binding tissue is hydrated, fluid circulation improved and whole body becomes slimmer and more elongated. When the fascia is healthier and more elastic, the muscles are much more easily shaped, and Pilates exercises finally serve their true purpose.
As we’ve seen, these roller workouts are very demanding, and they engage all the core muscles responsible for proper posture, making our stance worthy of an elegant ballerina.
“Why is all this useful?”
The roller programme in combination with Pilates principles and exercises, may improve the whole of organism. It can soothe the nervous system, soften swollen areas of the tissue and narrow pumped up muscles. It also stimulates the lymphatic system that regulates circulation, improving the immune system and purging out toxins. While it’s true that the roller massage can be pretty painful and difficult, especially for those who have just begun using it, the pain and discomfort tend to wear off with each new treatment.
We hope that, once you have seen the benefits of this programme, you will find it easier to adjust to the initial pain. Anyone can try this simple treatment even at home, so we see no reason why you wouldn’t as well.
Let*s roll !!!!
Photos by Lumina Images
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