Foam Rolling – The Basics
So… you may have seen people at your gym rolling around on a strange looking foam roller. You may wonder what the purpose of foam rolling is, and if you should be using it.
What is a foam roller? A foam cylinder, approximately 6 inches in diameter. They vary in length and density.
Why foam roll? 1) provide self massage; 2) break up adhesions in the muscle and/or fascia and 3) increases blood flow to these areas. This helps you recover faster from workouts and keep your muscles ready to train.
How to foam roll? 3 methods to foam rolling – 1) trigger point (tight, painful spot) and just apply pressure there or 2) small lateral movements against the muscle direction, or 3) roll along the muscle (like the sweeping strokes of a massage therapist). Or a combination of the above.
How often? 10-20 min, 5-6x a week or daily, before and/or right after a workout if possible.
Some cautions: foam rolling might be painful on chronic tight spots, but listen to your body as it shouldn’t feel like injury pain. DON’T roll over joints or injured tissue
Basic Muscle Foam rolling: Quads/hamstrings/calves/feet/glutes/IT Band/adductors Lats/rhomboids/chest (lying horizontally)/anterior deltoid
Hope this information helps you feel more comfortable approaching the foam roller in your gym. Start by sitting on it, then slowly begin to roll around on it. Enjoy and keep that face relaxed when you roll over those hot spots. 😉 xxx, Amber