Roll away the pregnancy aches
Foam rolling is a form of ‘self-myofascial release’ and an inexpensive type of self-massage you can do from the comfort of your own home.
It’s administered by using your own body weight and a high density foam roller to tackle knots in your muscle tissue. And foam rolling isn’t just for gym goers or athletes, as it can also benefit pregnant women by helping to release tension on trigger points and the surrounding tissues, leading to better blood flow, potentially increased muscle activation and improved sleep quality.
Cheryl MacDonald, yoga expert and founder of YogaBellies, says pregnant women can use a foam roller before and after exercise, dependent on their typical regime.
“Foam rolling is a perfect before or after yoga or exercise and is enhanced further by stretching afterward. The more consistently you foam roll, the better your results will be,” she told Cover Media.
For women new to foam rolling, Cheryl recommends choosing a 2-in-2 foam roller as the soft inner tube can be used to apply gentle pressure and the textured outer can be used for different muscle groups as desired.
“Using a high density foam roller, target muscle groups like the hip flexors, lats, glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads and the upper back. Always be sure to roll slowly, take your time to allow yourself to release any tension. Begin to relax before you begin. Foam rolling should be tender, but not unbearably painful,” she explained. “As with any new exercise, be sure to consult your care provider first.”
Cheryl's top tips for foam roller newbies:
- Find some space on the floor, and sit on a yoga mat if this provides more comfort.
- Position your foam roller on the muscle group you want to target e.g. under the buttocks.
- Aim to keep your body in a stable and comfortable position and keep your spine neutral.
- Slowly roll until you find a tender place, keeping your body nice and relaxed.
- Keep breathing! Allow tension to release in surrounding tissues, about 30-60 seconds on each area. Spend more time if you desire.
- Keep moving onto other muscle group you want to target.