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 & recover. For many in the fitness world, the routine of rest and recovery now includes a new addition: foam rolling (technically known as self-myofascial release).
The general idea behind foam rolling exercises is that by applying direct loads to your muscles, you lengthen and massage the underlying tissues. 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.
Using foam rollers can
- 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 important before a challenging workout.
- Promote a feeling of relaxation after a workout.
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.
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.
The How-To of Foam Rolling
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.
In general, foam rollers provide the greatest result when placing a muscle directly on top of the foam roller and moving back and forth to apply pressure to the underlying tissues.
“Self-Guided Foam Roller: Illustrations make it easier!
The self-guided foam roller from Prism Fitness Group 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-ft long, which is wide enough to use on backs. The durable polyethylene foam is designed for moderate to heavy use while still holding its shape.