Are you in need of a little TLC for your sore muscles? Find out if foam rolling is the answer you have been looking for!
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You may have looked at the title of this article and wondered to yourself, “What kind of weird fitness trend is foam rolling?” It is actually no fitness trend at all! Have you ever seen those tube shaped looking, grey foam things in the gym? They kind of look like something you would find in the sewing section at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. You would never guess by looking at them, but foam rollers are AMAZING! Not only are they beneficial for you internally, but when used with proper technique, they also feel flat out spectacular. The term “self- myofascial”, is just a dressed up word for “self-massage” and that’s pretty much the gist of what you get when you are using a foam roller! Here’s a couple of reasons why I want YOU to start foam rolling after each workout:
Everyone deserves the “Poor Man’s Massage”
Surprisingly enough, I actually didn’t make that up. Foam rolling is often called the poor man’s massage, because it is a self-given massage. It normally takes place on a gym floor, with something that costs maybe 32 cents for production – as opposed to laying in a luxurious spa and having some European guy or girl in a tight white shirt rubbing you down with oil. Nope, not here! The foam roller is strictly a one man job!
Author Brynn Elliot wrote in one of his articles, “….therapists have been using it for years. To achieve this release, a therapist would apply a low load, long duration dragging force across layers of soft-tissue in the body. After a period of time, through some different mechanisms in the body, the body will “release” the tissue and mobility between those sliding surfaces is restored.”
But doesn’t foam rolling seem sometimes, painful?
Because foam rolling is used to release muscle tightness, there has to be a little pressure application involved. As mentioned above by Brynn Elliot, your tissue will eventually be released by your body and the sore feeling of the pressure you are putting on those muscles, will soon go away. The heavier you are, the more of “good hurt” you will get from foam rolling. It’s actually almost an addictive kind of feeling; a healthy addictive feeling.
About a year ago, I headed up a program we had at our Chapel Hill Gym called “Afterburn”. At the end of each Afterburn class, I had my members all grab a foam roller and meet me in the floor. I would normally get one of 3 different reactions: 1. The eye roll. 2. The screams of agony as the person rolled the different areas of their body as instructed – just waiting and praying for it to finally be over. 3. The “ahh, the hurt is so good!” kind of people. I definitely fit in the third category. My absolute FAVORITE move was the quad roll.
Remember how I said that the heavier you are, the more “good hurt” you’ll have? We’ll, I’m not the heaviest person by any means, but I sure did LOVE the quad roll! It applies probably the most pressure and “ache” of any of the rolling movements.
When you have time, take a minute to look up these great foam rolling exercises to try out after your next workout! Remember, proper technique and form are the ABSOLUTE KEY to executing these moves properly and getting the most out of them.
-Upper Back Roll
-Lat Roll *be extra careful with your form here!
-IT Band Roll
Still not too sure about foam rolling? Maybe you just have some questions? Feel free to e-mail me at the address at the top of this article!