Advice | Foam Rolling

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Have you ever asked yourself what Foam rolling is all about?

Why people would choose to do something that just looks painful?

Read on and you’ll be ordering yours before the day’s out.

The foam roller is just one tool that you can use to aid “self-massage” and it’s not just for super fit athletes. Massage is beneficial to everyone.
Lifestyle, diet, stress, repetitive actions, over-training and day to day life habits, such as sitting at a desk, driving, lifting children, cleaning, they can all contribute to poor posture, muscular imbalance and often over time repetitive injury.

So basically, unless you have been able to avoid work and live the perfect life in perfect balance, an introduction to the foam roller could be just the bit of TLC your body needs.

In a nutshell using a foam roller regularly will assist with preventing injury in the long term by helping you warm up your muscles and mobilise your joints.

A greater “range of movement” (ROM) for key joints such as hips, shoulders, knees and ankles means that you can move more freely more efficiently.

There are many benefits to using a foam roller…. Self-massage promotes increased blood flow, carrying important nutrients to our working muscles such as oxygen and glycogen, and flushing out build-up of lactic acid, to aid muscle repair and reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for those that are physically active.

So, the next time you go out for a run or do a workout in the gym your muscles feel lesser after effects from previous training sessions and you are ready to go again!

If you want to improve in any sport, taking time to give your body the rest and care it needs, should be an important part of any training program.

Training tip.

Prior to working out - Foam roll to raise your core temperature, increase mobility and help activate your muscles.

Warm up with dynamic stretches (stretches with movement) not holding position for too long. Work on ROM in each joint you will use during your workout.

Post workout - Static stretching will help to reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility and ROM also. Hold stretches and use a foam roller to help reduce the chances of post workout tension and soreness caused by the repetition of your workout.  

If you don’t have the time to foam roller before and after each session, make sure that you find a time that you can.

Use your foam roller in-between seeing your massage therapist, although it’s a fantastic piece of kit it’s no long-term substitute for a sports massage if one is needed for very active individuals.

How to use a foam roller and get it right. 

Changing your bodies position helps you foam roll almost every major muscle.

Apply moderate pressure, you may feel uncomfortable at times – it should not be unbearable however.

Roll slowly, when you find a tender spot roll back and forward over that area until the tension releases.

Don’t roll over the joint, the aim is to help free up and warm up he soft tissue.

After foam rolling you should feel as if your muscles have been warmed up and prepared.

You may feel some mild muscle soreness after rolling the next day if you are new to it.

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, eating well balanced and nutritious meals and getting a good amount of sleep will help flush your system and recover muscles effectively ready for your next training session.

For more informative assessments of your bodies mechanics and muscular balances book yourself a movement screening with us. Starting at £20 for a 90 minute screening designed to help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses and where you can improve your ROM to maximise your training potential and minimise injury!

Emma Marks