Foam rollers are used as an effective method to…
- increase blood flow
- enhance ROM (range of motion)
- reduce tension
- increase muscle length
during both warm-up and post-workout sessions.
Be sure to use a foam roller for only a brief period of time to elevate tissue temperature and reduce tension.
Think light, even pressure over muscle groups that you will be targeting during your workout.
For example, it’s leg day… so I’m going to foam roll (with light and even pressure) my glutes, hips, quads, hammies, and calves within 60 minutes of my leg workout.
If you find an area of tension, fight the urge to increase pressure.
Applying pressure with a foam roller for an extended period of time during your warm-up session could desensitize the muscle and affect its ability to contract during your workout.
After your workout, foam rollers are a great tool that can help reduce soreness and promote the recovery process.
Areas of tension are a main priority post-workout. My rule of thumb is to foam roll within 3 hours post-workout.
Aim to move at a consistent tempo of approximately 1 inch per second; focus on areas of tension for up to 90 seconds to allow the tissue to relax and lengthen.
If you find an area of tension that is extremely painful, take it easy and lay off some pressure.
It’s important to listen to your body, and utilizing the foam roller gives you the opportunity to hear your body from the inside out.
You’ll quickly get the hang of knowing how much pressure to apply, where, and for how long.
Foam rolling also helps promote a feeling of relaxation after a workout, an important psychological benefit.
Areas of Tension: Knots
Exercise-induced muscle damage signals the repair process.
This is when new collagen molecules are formed to help repair injured tissue…
Most likely forming adhesions (aka knots) between layers along the way.
You know what knots I’m talking about…
If you press down around your neck, shoulders, and between your shoulder blades… you’d feel ’em… super tender, may feel like a ball that is tight and/or sore.
Well the average person has knots all over their body… in our hands, around our ankles and wrists, even on our heads.
Knots are large and small in size and can be caused by a variety of activities like exercising, poor posture, bumping into something, and sleeping weird on an on-going basis.
The good news?!
Using a foam roller regularly can help minimize the risk of knots developing all together…
Which means less pain and more ENERGY!
With regular use a foam roller can…
- Reduce every day tension and muscle tightness
- Increase joint range of motion
- Enhance energy levels
To start, I’d recommend incorporating foam rolling 3-5 days a week.
The goal would be to foam roll during all warm-up & post-workout sessions.
However, when you are first getting started… let’s start small.
Let’s focus on getting into the habit of foam rolling areas of tension post-workout for a few minutes at a time.
It’s simple and will give you immediate benefits leaving you with inspiration to keep the habit going.
Plus, you can work your way up in frequency and duration at your own pace.
So with all of that being said, I would highly recommend incorporating foam rolling into your workout regime!
Do you use a foam roller? How has it impacted your life? Comment below!
Happy Foam Rolling!