Updated: Aug 7, 2019
WHAT IS FOAM ROLLING ANYWAY?
Foam rolling has been around for many years now but is fairly new to some in the world of mainstream fitness. It is the perfect way to speed up your workout recovery time and to help release tension from your muscles. The client places the foam roller on the floor and performs a series of different movements with it targeted to different muscular areas on the body. Generally rolling back and forth on any given location up to 7 times is an excellent warm up game changer.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
It has the effect of helping to smooth the muscle mass being used and also helping to ease tension around areas of scar tissue. Staving off injuries and enhancing performance long term.
Another wonderful benefit of foam rolling is that it helps to increase the blood flow within the muscle mass. The act of smoothing and removing of scaring and adhesion from exercise means that it is easier for blood to flow around the muscle, this in turn helps the recovery of the muscle after exercise.
Foam rolling is a really easy thing to do wherever you have the space and time to do it. The roll is in expensive, easy to transport and can be performed at home, in the gym or even at work (if your boss permits it).
HOW DO I DO IT EFFECTIVELY?
There are a few points to consider before you get your roller out.
Go slow – rolling at a slower rate will allow your brain to absorb the information, your muscles will relax far better and you will effectively smooth away any adhesion you have acquired during a workout.
Use the correct posture – your posture is everything when it comes to rolling. If you don’t hold your body right you won’t get the best results from the workout and you may even cause damage to certain areas.
Knot too much – when it comes to working on those painful knots ease off a little. Don’t spend minutes on the same area. Give each area of knotting a few seconds attention then move on. If you over do them they may cause more trouble.
Avoid the lower back – it seams like the area most of us have difficulty with, women especially but it will amaze you to know that avoiding this area is most important. You spine is pretty unprotected in this area, whereas your upper back is protected by your shoulder blades and larger muscle groups. If you need to ease tension and pain it is best to focus on the gluts and upper back areas. These will help to avoid injury and ease tension and adhesion.
Foam rollers are relatively inexpensive and a really great way to finish your workout. As always if you are unsure or apprehensive about giving the foam roller a go – get a lesson from a certified trainer so that you can feel confident you are using it correctly and to the best advantages for your body type and needs.
On a personal note, I wish that when I was in my 20’s I spent more time warming up my muscles and using these types of techniques. Now in my 30’s I am very diligent about the warm up and recovery phases and I find I am can do even more than when I was in my 20’s just by spending a little extra time taking care of my body through foam rolling and lacrosse ball techniques. Give it a go and see how great the results are.