Foam Rolling 101
Hopefully, you watched my 2 minute YouTube video and were so interested that you decided to check out my blog post to learn more! You go Glen CoCo!
In my video, I briefly touched on how foam rolling is like a "really cheap massage" that you can do on your own; well the scientific term for that is Self-Myofascial Release (SMR). Foam rolling is a form of SMR that is a great way to improve your daily life as well as continue to progress on your fitness journey.
A few of the reasons why I love foam rolling:
*Improves Flexibility & Posture
*Helps with Muscle Recovery
*Allows for more efficient movement
*Releases knots and tightness within the muscle
*Reduces Pain almost instantly
I own multiple rollers at home, mostly as a courtesy to others because when I sweat, it looks like my whole body is crying. So much that if I were to foam roll at the gym someone would have to place a "caution wet floor" sign next to me, and we can't have that.
SO...WHEN SHOULD I FOAM ROLL?
All Day err-day. Not really. I basically do but that's because I'm obsessed. The great thing about foam rolling is that there are benefits to doing it BEFORE & AFTER you workout. Unlike regular stagnant stretching (think gym class stretches), you don't have to worry about over-stretching prior to your workout because if you roll out the muscles that feel tight, then you're actually doing your body a huge favor. If you're tight before you hop in the squat rack, your form can be off and you may be imbalanced which a lot of times can lead to injuries. Foam rolling those tight areas prior to lifting will help create more efficient movements as you lift. Also, if you foam roll AFTER you lift then you can release any knots or tightness you may have created and improve your muscle recovery rate. So basically, it's a win-win. Not to mention, foam rolling can benefit running form while lowering knee pain as you run. So that's a win win win.
BUT J.GO I HATE STRETCHING!!
I get it...I'm as eager to get started with my workout as the next fitness fanatic, but I have also dealt with injuries that have kept me out of commission for months at a time. So please believe me when I say, taking a few minutes pre- and post- workout will make a helluva difference in the long run.
If I have loads of time I pick my top 3 most painful knots at each muscle group and hold EACH knot for 30 seconds. You see a majority of amateur foam rollers simply teetering back and forth across the gym floor, failing to HOLD the applied pressure. Again, let me reiterate that foam rolling is most effective when you actually hold the trigger point (knot) for AT LEAST 30 seconds to allow for the tension to be released. I use a timer because again, I tend to be impatient.
ONCE YOU'RE OBESSED THERE's MORE
Self-Myofascial Release can be done using many different gadgets besides just foam rollers, but the roller is the most well-known tool. If you're interested in learning more about these other tools for SMR, comment below with any questions or suggestions!
Thanks for being curious enough about foam rolling to read my take. Also, a big thanks to the National Academy of Sports Medicine for teaching me all that I know about the magic of Self-Myfasical Release.
**insert rolling pun here** ( i.e. Let the Good Times Roll )
If you're like me and want to know the science behind it all check out my works cited: