What is Foam Rolling?
Foam rolling is a form of Self-Myofascial Release Therapy(SMRT). The sole purpose of foam rolling is to break down adhesions and scar tissue that form on the soft tissues after repetitive use. What happens as a result of foam rolling can be compared to that of when you get a deep tissue massage.
How Do I Do It?
Ideally, you want to find a tender spot in the muscle. You slowly roll over the full length of the muscle a few times and this in itself will loosen you up fairly well. Find a sore spot and just rest there for a moment (30 seconds – 1 minute) until the pain lessens, then finish rolling over the rest of the muscle. Repeat 2-3 times until the pain has diminished. I know, all of this explanation is useless without pictures. However, you can easily look up demos online or just ask a personal trainer to give you a brief tutorial!
Benefits of Foam Rolling
- Increased range of motion(acute)
- Makes you feel better(afterward)
- Increased long term flexibility
- Ability to touch your toes
- Pain relief
- Injury prevention
- Improved strength
Honestly, the list can go on and on…….
Why You Should be Doing It
Besides the benefits above, chances are you do a lot of sitting at your place of employment. If this is true, I am almost certain you probably have some flexibility issues and/or muscle imbalances caused by over use and lack of proper personal care(routine stretching, foam rolling, massage etc). You should also be foam rolling to get the most out of your training and recovery. Frequent foam rolling will also keep you from developing muscle imbalances like the Lower Crossed Syndrome, which can easily be developed from sitting in a chair all day and never doing any kind of corrective exercises .
Where To Buy One?
The easiest place to find one is online or your local Target. They range in price anywhere from $10-$50, depending on the length and style.
Anyone in my inner circle knows that I don’t leave home without my Foam Roller…..matter of fact I keep one in my car! I was first turned on to the Foam roller by a local Physical Therapist nearly 8 years ago. At first I hated foam rolling like must, but I have come to love it and now it’s part of my daily life. The pain and agony you experience when first foam rolling will eventually pay dividends in overall pain relief on a daily basis. I tend to foam roll at least once a day, usually as my warm-up before each workout. If new to foam rolling, I would recommend 3-4 times a week depending on what you are trying to achieve.
Enough reading, start rolling!!
SOURCE: JC Deen, author of A No-BS Approach to Looking Great Naked.