Foam Rolling - What, Why and How?
We all know that feeling... A day or two after a tough workout and you feel like you can barely move. Your in desperate need of a massage or some way to loosen off your tight muscles.
Good News! Instead of paying £40 for a sports massage, you can do it yourself!
Foam rolling or trigger point release as it is also know, is where you place pressure on a sore/tight muscle to try and loosen off the muscle tissue. This can be done with a foam roller, lacrosse ball or any other similar object (Link to my recommended ones below).
Not only is foam rolling free after you've bought one, it is also less time consuming and can be done wherever and whenever.
The self massage tool has been shown to your decrease pain pressure threshold (Aboodarda et al, 2015), increase your range of motion and decrease muscle stiffness (Morales-Artacho et al, 2017). All of which are vital both pre and post training.
So how should you foam roll for maximal benefits? Well, although I mentioned it is beneficial post training, research has shown that it best when combined with movement ((Morales-Artacho et al, 2017). So you have two options here:
1. Between your warm up and workout
2. Before you stretch (This can be at any point post training)
Breath and try to relax - It is supposed to be uncomfortable!
Pause for 10-20 seconds on the tightest spots
Stretch and/or move your muscle through its full range of motion after
Make it a routine - recovery is important... it should be a habit!
Hold your breath!
Make really weird faces - we know it hurts, but try not to put everyone off!
Waste your time - benefits have been shown from as little as 10 seconds - spend more time moving
Roll your IT band - it is not muscle... it will be very painful and you will receive not benefit!
Want to get started? Get my recommended foam rollers and mobilization tools here: www.optimalfit.co.uk/Shop
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