Foam rolling, which was once a technique practiced exclusively by professional athletes and trainers, has become an affordable and easy recovery method for anyone who gets sweaty on the reg. Self-myofascial release (the fancy name for foam rolling) is the application of pressure to eliminate scar-tissue and soft-tissue adhesion through breaking up and relaxing tight muscles. This deep compression releases trigger points (AKA "knots") and increases blood circulation, making us less "tight."
When rolling out your knots, it's common to experience slight discomfort (after all, you're putting most of your weight on one small part of your body), but stop immediately if you experience any unbearable pain! While it's a great option, foam rolling is not the only way to relieve muscle tightness or knots. You can also apply pressure to the specific points of injury with a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, golf ball or your own hands.
In order to start seeing your performance enhance, there are a few basic things you can add to your foam rolling routine. First, your calves should be on the roll call (get it!?) every day. From the shoes we wear, to the way we sit in a chair, most things we do can have a negative impact on our calves. Rolling out the calves improves the overall range of motion of the ankle and reduces stress on the rest of the body. The second best thing to do is to roll the quadriceps. The quadriceps are the largest muscle on our body and therefore have a huge impact on our daily activities. By rolling them out, you can improve the function of your hips and remove additional stress from the lower back. Lastly, you should foam roll your upper back, which is the area of the body designed for rotation and extension. It's important to keep this area of the body loose and flexible to ensure that you can maintain full movement in the head and neck. Add these three simple steps into your daily foam roll routine and you should start to notice positive results within just a few days.
For the best results, you should foam roll as part of your warm-up and again as your cool-down. Use the foam roller before your workout to reduce tension within the muscles and again after the workout is complete to help your muscles recover. If you are crunched on time, prioritize foam rolling before your workout to yield the most benefits. Rolling for a minimum of five minutes before you exercise can have such an immense impact on the quality of your training session and on your body as a whole.
So take advantage of this free deep tissue massage...and let the good times roll!