Want to know how to foam roll your way to recovery? Keep reading!
Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release.
is a technique that requires applying gentle sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue restrictions.
is "a type of thin, strong, fibrous connective tissue that extends throughout your body to provide support and protection to your muscles and bones."
When trauma is inflicted on the tissue, it can become tight, rigid, and even painful.
One means of 'trauma' is the tearing of muscle fibres during a strenuous workout!
That's where the foam roller comes in.
Foam rolling is a popular way to perform myofascial release without the aid of a therapist or help from others.
The goal is to target areas with muscle tightness or 'trigger points'.
Myofasical trigger points are known for being a common source of pain in the body.
They're painful to press on and have a property called¬†referred pain.
Referred pain means that a trigger point in one muscle can create pain in another area.
Foam rolling can accelerate your performance too.
Beyond its benefits in speeding up recovery time and release of muscle pain and tightness...
Foam rolling is a safe way to self treat your muscle soreness, and even improve on your flexibility, posture and awareness of your movements.
We've all experienced some kind of soreness 1-2 days after a tough workout.
The delay which then leads to soreness 24-72 hours later is often referred to as¬†delayed onset muscle soreness¬†
DOMS are caused by myofibril tears (muscle strain).
One of the most popular and effective ways to treat DOMS is by applying pressure AKA foam rolling!
Do you need any more convincing?
When should I foam roll?
You can foam roll¬†before¬†or¬†after¬†
a workout, or incorporate it into your stretching sessions.
The two most common styles of the foam roller are rigid or smooth.
The rigid surface is particularly good to assist trigger point release, while the smooth surface provides versatility in foam rolling but can also be used in yoga and pilates!
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How to foam roll
Set yourself on the ground with plenty of space such as the gym floor.
The pressure needed for myofascial release requires you to place your body¬†on top¬†
of the foam roller.
You can begin by targeting the upper and lower body, then moving onto specific areas that are sore or require attention.
Sometimes, you‚Äôll find a ‚Äòsticky‚Äô point that‚Äôs sore.
Try and focus on these areas to remove lumps and knots.
Spend about 60 seconds on each body part (quads, hamstrings, glutes etc), longer on those trigger spots.
Don't just roll back and forth quickly - when you find a sore spot, take it slowly and apply pressure until the tightness eases before moving further along the limb.
These are some of our favourite foam roller exercises!
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1. UPPER BACK / THORACIC SPINE
Roll from the upper trapezius muscles to mid-back back and forth.
3.¬†ILIOTIBIAL (IT) BAND
Roll the outer side of the thighs between the knee and hip.
Crossing one knee over the other can help to isolate the glute you are working on.
Roll across the pectoral muscle and back.
So are you starting to rethink your foam rolling habits?
It may be time to set aside a date each week with the foam roller!
We have an extensive chapter on foam rolling, stretching and recovery in every level of The Bod.
Read more about the programs here!