Foam Rolling 101
Why do we do it?!
You’ve seen the racks around the gym with those black cylinder looking things, and maybe even saw a few people using them. They just seem to be rolling around on them though, right? Are they exercising? Are they doing ANYTHING?
The answer – yes!
Foam rolling has many benefits, so here are some reasons to add foam rolling to your routine if you aren’t already doing it!
1. Warming Up the Muscles:
When you start your workout with foam rolling, you increase blood flow to your cold muscles and start the process of warming up. When big muscle groups are properly warmed up, they perform better during your workout.
2. Alleviating Muscle and Joint Pain:
Have you or someone you know ever suffered from knee pain? It just kind of started after working out with no specific injury? It could be something foam rolling could help.
The body has a soft connective tissue, called fascia, which covers and supports our muscles. Foam rolling is a myofascial release technique, meaning it helps to loosen the fascia surrounding our muscles. The tighter your fascia is, due to overuse or injury, the more strain your joints will endure.
So that knee pain? If you’ve seen a doctor and have no real “injury”, try using a foam roller to loosen up the muscles surrounding your knee to relieve some pressure. The constant pulling on your knee from tight muscles can be relieved, and the knee pain may subside.
3. Increased Performance:
For athletes and anyone exercising at a high intensity, making sure muscles are working to their full potential is crucial. Once a general area has been rolled, it’s time to focus on specific knots or spots that are tender. By holding pressure on knots for 60-90 seconds, the tension in the muscle will slowly release. Muscles with less knots and more flexibility will always perform better.
Foam rolling is also very beneficial after a workout. Adding it to your cool down can reduce soreness tomorrow, and will allow you to train at a higher level more frequently.
So if you aren’t already using a foam roller, or weren’t sure where to start – this should give you a few good reasons to give it a try. If you’re still unsure, ask a Big Sky Coach to show you a few different methods and improve your workout today!