Posted on 31 Oct 2016

Half-Foam Rollers Stretching - Derbyshire Fitness Holiday Retreat Review October 2016

half round roller stretching exerciseThis week at the FitFarms holiday retreat in Derbyshire we got to use some new equipment in our stretch classes. We got a delivery of half-foam rollers which took the stretch and mobility classes to a whole new level.

The stretch and mobility classes focus on movements that prevent injury and improve alignment. They compliment the higher intensity classes really nicely - stretching the muscles that have been working hard in classes like boxercise, aerobics, and circuit training. Sometimes we have them first thing in the morning to loosen you up for a day of exercise, and sometimes they are a welcome break in the middle of the day, to give you a rest in between long walks and more strenuous sessions.

The stretch sessions are also designed to educate you about how to take better care of your body. Just as the body needs to eat nutritious food to be healthy, it needs certain movements to be healthy, too. Exercises (like aerobics, running, cycling, yoga, etc.) provide some of these important movements but not all of them. What you learn in the stretch classes are the movement equivalent of taking a daily multivitamin. I show you movements that you can do at home to keep your joints and your tissues in better working order.

The half-foam rollers can be used for lots of different things in the classes. They are great for calf stretching, for example. Short calf muscles may lead to a host of foot, knee and even back issues, so working on calf length is really important. The foam rollers can be used to sit on to do stretches with better posture, protecting your lower back. They can even be used to stand on for improving balance, reducing your risk of falls and injury. All that from just a little piece of foam!

Don’t worry if you don’t have one at home, all of the exercises can be replicated using a rolled up towel or some cushions (and I always send out a handout to everyone after the course, to remind you of the exercises that we did in my classes). But I’m pretty sure that once you’ve done some stretches with these rollers they will be one of the first things on your list of equipment to get for yourself once you get home!

Special blog post from one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors.

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