You know the foam roller that’s just collecting dust in the corner of your bedroom? Originally you bought it for a reason. It might have been to help loosen tight hips, it might have been some butt stuff or maybe you just got it because someone told you it’s gonna help.
Whatever the reason you got it, it’s only gonna help if you get down on it every once in a while. And the only way you’ll get down on it is if you know why you’re doing it and how it’s going to help you.
For me it’s kind of like hydration… you might think you’re doing it enough but more is probably better and there is almost zero chance you’ll do it too much.
So here’s the main sticking points for why you should 100% be foam rolling…
Self myo-fascial release (or self massage) is a technique that breaks up scar and connective tissue created during workouts. This creates “looser” muscles which can lead to improved performance, faster recovery and a happier you.
By “sitting” on a tight or tender spot when foam rolling, you’re allowing the roller to break apart tissues that would otherwise be stuck together. This allows blood into that “knot” which speeds the recovery process and immediately improves mobility. Think of a skilled massage therapist’s fingers pressing heavily into a knot during a deep tissue massage… for a fraction of the price you could have that feeling of sweet relief everyday.
That’s the gist of it, it’s a cheap massage. Bonus, it won’t grab your booty five minutes into “let me give you a back rub after your long day at work hun.”
Here’s a few easy rules.
- Don’t roll over joints
- Don’t roll directly on your IT band (if you have questions as to why not, ask one of your trainers)
- Don’t roll your lower back. Those vertebrae are meant for stability and shouldn’t be messed with, try a lacrosse or tennis ball on the side of the spine that is tight.
- Do sit on sensitive spots (20-30 sec) until they release and you’re not making that twitchy, 1-eye closed winky pain face. You can do this 5-10 times over each trigger point.
- Do adjust the pressure you’re putting on the roller as to not cause excessive pain. This isn’t an exercise in pain tolerance.
- Do roll slowly and take your time. Just like it takes time to build a better physique, improving mobility issues can’t be rushed. Try to stick to no more than 1 inch per second.
By now you know my general rule… give it a serious shot for 2 weeks. Rolling might be the best experience of your life. It also may be the thing that takes you to the next level.