Eight Foam Rolling Techniques to Loosen Up Your Muscles

Sore, stiff, tight? We feel you. Take some time for self-massage. Used pre-workout, pre-stretching, or simply to start the day, foam rolling has serious benefits, including easing muscle soreness, correcting muscle imbalance, increasing range of motion, and preventing injury.

Some gyms have foam rollers, but it might be worth investing in your own. (They’re still way cheaper than a professional massage!) Rollers vary in size, firmness, and shape. Long rollers provide more area for stability and support, while shorter options are more versatile and convenient for travel. A soft foam provides a gentler massage than a high-density version. Some options include a grid-like design or a ridged surface, which helps target tough-to-relieve knots and trigger points.

Source: How to Foam Roll Like a Pro

Don’t be fooled by the expensive ones though unless you really want one.  The generic rollers are just as good. You can get them in all kinds of firmness levels depending on need, body weight etc.

I would caution against direct rolling of the IT band; with the lack of elasticity in connective tissues, it can lead to a plastic strain response and subsequent damage. Franklyn-Miller summarized the article here.

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Scientists Create Injectable Foam To Repair Degenerating Bones

Researchers in France have developed a self-setting foam that can repair defects in bones and assist growth. Eventually, this advanced biomaterial could be used to quickly regenerate bone growth and treat degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.

Source: Scientists Create Injectable Foam To Repair Degenerating Bones

The first thought that popped into my head was: “Does this mean longer space time for astronauts?”  They go up, experience bone loss, come down get treated with this foam, recover, and then go back up…

 

Bread, Ice Cream Is A Foam. Yes, Really.

It is, because foam, essentially, is air bubbles trapped in different phases. The foam on top of a beer—those are air bubbles surrounded by liquid. When you churn an ice cream mix, you are driving air bubbles into it. And then the mix freezes and you end up with a bunch of bubbles inside a solid matrix. The same is true of bread.

Source: What is Gluten?

It’s a slice of food science, but it neglects to mention that there are gluten free breads – sourdough, focaccia…

Foamy Beer? Grab a Magnet

Actually magnets is for home brewers – see the last paragraph for other tricks.

Few sights at a bar are more deflating than a bottle of beer overflowing with foam. This overfoaming, called gushing, arises when fungi infect the barley grains in beer’s malt base. The microorganisms latch onto barley with surface proteins called hydrophobins. During the brewing process, these hydrophobins can attract carbon dioxide molecules produced by the mashed barley as it ferments, making the beer far too bubbly. Brewers try to tamp down the gushing by adding hops extract, an antifoaming agent that binds to the proteins first. Now, food scientists in Belgium have hit upon a technological solution: magnets.

Source: No more foamy beer, thanks to magnets

A higher level of hop oil (or pretty much any vegetable oil, really) will reduce foaming. But that is an academic concern, because you can’t alter the hop levels without affecting the flavour. A brewer will perfect the taste/aroma/color/texture/etc. of a beer before they even start thinking about practical concerns such as blow-off. Which is fine because there are already solutions for blow-off that don’t involve reformulating your recipe.

What is the science behind contributing factors to overfoaming?  Carbon dioxide (CO2) solubility decreases with increasing temperature.  As the dissociation constant of water increases, the extra hydrogen ions push out the carbon dioxide molecules.   In addition, gaseous solubility decreasing with increasing temperature causes the energy of the CO2 molecule to exceed the solvation energy.  Translation: the warmer the fridge is, the more foam will come out. Things you can do:

  • Chill the beer more
  • Cool the outside of the glass with cold tap water
  • Pour a slow stream of beer down the side of the glass (not directly to the bottom). This chills the path of the beer and you are less likely to foam. If you pour directly to the bottom, it’ll just push out.

Standard disclaimer: Alcohol is addictive, laden with empty calories, and socially complex. Be careful™.