The picture below is my face every time my coach says 'have you got your foam Roller here'?
I'm like.... "whaaaatttt... whyyyy... what did I do to deserve this"! 😩 You see Foam Rolling and I have a love/hate relationship. I know it's good for me and I secretly love the benefits but I also moan about it a lot. 😂
If I'm honest though, It is a really great tool and crucial for anyone active. Whether you're working-out a lot, jogging, walking or just generally looking to get a little more active, this is a must have!
Now although as a mother I only ever use a Foam Roller as a telescope to spot oncoming pirate ships in our living room, as an athlete I use a foam roller all the time to increase performance!
I get a lot of questions about foam rolling from clients and it seem's that there's a lot confusion around HOW to use a Foam Roller and WHY? It's one of those things that looks easy but really takes technique and knowledge to do it right! So here’s a few tips for anyone who might be considering adding this to their workout!
( p.s anyone who caught the running bug over marathon season, you’re gunna wanna get one of these a-sap too)!
So what is Foam Rolling?
It’s basically a deep tissue massage ( more technically know as self-myofascial release). Fascia is the tissue that connects you muscles, bones and ligaments creating support throughout your entire body… (so kind of a crucial element to care for I think)!
For fascia to work efficiently it must be elastic and stretchy, however all too often, due to poor posture, intense workouts or stress, fascia can become tight, restricting movement and causing ache’s and pain 😳.
Everyone in the fitness world preaches about stretching, which is really important however conventional stretching on it’s own doesn’t necessarily release fascia. Foam rolling not only relieves muscle soreness, it can improve range of motion, prevents injury, correct muscle imbalances and even boost your immune system!
So now we know WHY but let’s quickly cover HOW! (I’ll leave which exercises up to you… as there are soon many! but… psssst….I’m working on a little YouTube video showing some of my favourites which will be posted soon)!
Tips for Foam Rolling:
- Foam roller’s come in different densities & textures so if you’re new to it you'll want to find the correct 'hardness' for you. I'd advise trying a softer roller to start with and progress up when you can!
- Roll each muscle group for 2-3 minutes Sllllllllloooowwwwwwly and when you reach a place which feel’s uncomfortable HOLD for 30 seconds and you should feel the tension release.
- Don’t forget to breathe as you roll! Yes, even when it really aches. Taking in regular deep breathes of Oxygen will help your muscles to release.
- Do you’re best to ‘relax’ the muscle you’re rolling. Tensing up as you roll will prevent you from feeling the trigger points you need to release.
- If a particular area is just too ‘painful’ to roll, try moving the roller on to the surrounding area and work your way back towards the main point over time.
- People talk about the ‘pain’ or discomfort rolling can cause. As a general rule on a scale of one to ten, you shouldn't be feeling anything more then a 7-8 in intensity. Anything above this needs pre-rolling on the surrounding area first.
- NEVER roll or hold on a bone or joint and be careful not to directly roll on your spine. You shouldn’t roll the lower back ever and when rolling the mid/upper back area's always shift slightly, focusing on working one side at a time.