Many people complain of back problems, sore or stiff muscles, and a lack of mobility. A consistent Foam Rolling routine would help combat and alleviate many of those issues. We have become a sedentary culture and sitting down all day is much too common. There was a study I read that said sitting down all day is just as bad for your health as being a smoker. This is why you should use a foam roller.
Many of you may not be familiar with foam rollers and myofascial release techniques. Myofascial release is a fancy way of saying massage. If you haven’t seen a foam roller they are 12-36” long foam tubes that you lay on and roll on to give yourself a mini “massage.” They are becoming much more common in gyms and homes across the world. If you are familiar with foam rollers you know they can be a little bit painful and uncomfortable at first. Some people might even find them awkward to use. In this blog I am going to explain the importance of foam rolling and I am including a video to help show you how to use a foam roller.
Foam rolling is important for a few things and it great to do even if you’re not following a fitness program. Foam rolling will help tight or sore muscles by breaking up knots and adhesions in those muscles. When you use a foam roller it increases blood flow to those areas and in essence you are “waking up” your muscle tissue. It also makes your brain more aware of your body, which creates a better mind body connection especially before a workout. Foam rolling will also help in activating your core muscles and warming up your internal body temperature.
I make sure all of my clients foam roll before our training sessions. Many of them are coming to train either first thing in the morning or after a long day at work. Both of those times the body and muscles can be very stiff and tight from not moving. Foam rolling will wake the muscle tissue up by increasing oxygen and blood flow. This will in turn wake you up and help you get energized for movement or a training session. I use this with my clients as part of a dynamic warm-up routine that includes rolling, dynamic stretching, and muscle activation drills.
You don’t have to be on a fitness program to use a foam roller. Foam rolling is great first thing in the morning or especially after a long day of work when your whole body feels stiff. Foam rolling can help alleviate muscle cramps, back and neck pain, as well as hip pain and or leg discomfort.
Be careful if you are new to foam rolling, it can be painful and uncomfortable so follow the video and find ways to support your body or take pressure off really sensitive areas. Keep in mind though, the idea is to find the tender spots in the muscle and try to soften the tissue. A little sensitivity is normal, it’s like getting a massage and I guarantee if you use a foam roller every day for one week, it won’t hurt nearly as much.
If you’re tired of having achy, tight, or sore muscles, give foam rolling a try. I promise you will feel better, be more flexible, feel less stiff, and more energized after just one week!