As you break into a workout routine, injuries can be tough to avoid. The Foam Roller is an incredible tool that can keep injuries at bay. The roller acts as a deep tissue massage, working out muscle knots. If you are experiencing pain and stiffness in any areas, the foam roller may help.

Common trouble spots include: the front and back of the thighs, the deep hip region, and the outside of the thigh, known as the IT Band. The foam roller can also help relax and lengthen muscles, break up scar tissue and increase circulation. Here are some key points to give it a go.

A Guide to Foam Rolling Exercises:

1. Roll back and forth across the painful or stiff area for about a minute.
2. Spend extra time directly over the knot and focus on deep breathing.
3. Roll the injured area morning and night. To prevent injuries, two to three times a week is recommended.

“Foam rolling smoothes and lengthens your muscles, and breaks up adhesions and scar tissue.” Another benefit is that it helps your muscles relax by activating the sensory receptors connecting your muscle fibers to your tendons. The net effect is better blood circulation, which in turn speeds workout recovery and boosts performance.