SMART Recovery Foam Roller Basics
What is one piece of equipment with which many have a love/hate relationship? Here are some hints: it is inexpensive, it’s portable, it can be used on any soft part of the body, and it’s highly beneficial for everyone. Drum roll please……the foam roller! Foam Roller Benefits can be felt quickly and are great for everyone.
Foam rollers release tension in muscles and tendons by using personal body weight along the cylinder roller. Technically known as self-myofascial release. Trigger point therapy and self-massage encourage blood flow and circulation to soft tissues while increasing flexibility and improving range of motion.
A consistent foam-rolling routine can help prevent common exercise-related injuries. Runners may be familiar with the infamous IT band pain. Using a foam roller to massage away facia build-up can help prevent discomfort and keep runners going for miles!
Roll. Rest. Recover. Resume.
We know. You like to push-it-to-the-limit at your workouts. We get it. But, remember, everyone needs to give their body a period of time to rest and recover. For many in the fitness world, the routine of rest and recovery now includes a new addition: foam rolling. The use of foam rollers for effectively reducing muscle tension is now a widely accepted fitness practice and makes it easier to resume those challenging workouts.
Use as a Warm-Up or Cool-Down
Foam rollers are used to reduce tension and increase muscle length for either a pre-workout warm-up or post-exercise active recovery.
Foam rolling can provide great benefits before and after a workout. Rolling prior to exercising can decrease muscle density, thus enhancing the warm-up phase; rolling after a workout encourages flexibility and improved recovery.
The goal is to target the areas affected by muscle imbalance, overuse, and injuries.
According to ACE, when using a foam roller during a warm-up, be sure to use it only for a brief period of time to elevate tissue temperature and reduce tension. Applying pressure with a foam roller for an extended period could desensitize the muscle and affect its ability to contract during the workout.
Are there Foam Rolling Benefits for Desk Workers?
For those individuals sitting at a desk all day, a full-body rolling routine encourages tension release and improved posture. This reduces back and neck pain!
When you first start foam rolling to alleviate pain associated with desk work, spend extra time on your hip flexors and lower back. This will help you counteract tightness from long hours spent sitting.
5 Common Foam Roller Basic Exercises
- Iliotibial (IT) Band Exercise
- Adductor Exercise
- Gluteus Maximus (Glutes) Exercise
- Upper Back Exercise
- Latissimi Dorsi (Lats) Exercise
The How-To of Foam Rolling
How long to foam roll?
The general idea behind foam rolling exercises is that by applying direct loads to your muscles, you lengthen and massage the underlying tissues. The first step is to locate an area of tension, and then work around the area for about 30 seconds. Use short, slow rolls to start, and follow up with longer, slower rolls over the whole length of the target muscle. Don’t be alarmed if your first experience is a little unpleasant…it gets better!
How to foam roll your Back? Quads? IT Band?
In general, foam rollers provide the greatest result when placing the target area, like your quads or IT band, directly on top of the foam roller and moving back and forth to apply pressure to the underlying tissues.
If you’re getting started with a fitness program again, you might quickly identify muscles that haven’t been used in a while and need some extra attention when they become sore.
Foam rollers are often used to reduce tension and increase muscle length for either a pre-workout warm-up or post-exercise active recovery. In general, the foam roller provides the most significant result when placing a muscle directly on top of the foam roller and moving back and forth to apply pressure to the underlying tissues.
Foam Roller Benefits
- Increase blood flow and elevate heat in the involved tissue.
- Reduce tightness and soreness in muscles promoting proper muscle recovery
- Increase joint range of motion (ROM), which is vital before a challenging workout.
- Promote a feeling of relaxation after a workout.
Here are a few key tips for successful rolling
- Give yourself time, roll back and forth across painful areas for about a minute, spending extra time on knots and trigger points.
- Move slowly, working from the center of your body towards your extremities.
- Focus on soft tissue and avoid rolling over boney areas of the body.
- Increase the duration as the body adapts to rolling
- drink plenty of water after each foam-rolling session
Self-Guided Foam Roller: Illustrations make it easier!
When you’re sore and want relief, the last thing you want to do is try to figure out how to use a
foam roller. With our self-guided SMART Recovery Foam Roller, the exercises are printed right
on the product, so you’ll never have to spend time worrying about finding a move that works
SMART Recovery Foam Roller from Prism Fitness is used for smart recovery and can release
muscle tension before, during, and after workouts. It features nine movements that are printed
directly on the foam roller for easy reference. It is 2 feet long, which is wide enough to use on
your back. The durable polyethylene foam is designed for moderate to heavy use while still
holding its shape.