Foam rolling: What is it and how does it work?
What is foam rolling?
Foam rolling is the self application of pressure across areas to:
Eliminate/ease muscular tightness
Reduce existing scar tissue
It is also known as myofascial release or myofascial therapy.
myo = muscle fascial = a sheet of connective tissue
What do you use?
A purpose-made foam roller
Hockey/tennis (hard ball)
A purpose-made massage stick
A rolling pin
Basically anything that helps to work into the tight tissue!
Why should I foam roll?
The goal of myofascial release is to stretch and loosen the fascia so that it and other structures can move freely. This results in decreased muscle and joint pain, muscle tightness, increase in circulation and improved mobility and balance.
When should I foam roll and for how long?
Foam rolling only needs to be applied for 20 - 30 seconds per area. It all depends on how tight the area is. If it is a sore area then let off the pressure slightly.
Don’t foam roll too quickly! Take your time to roll right through the area and to apply the best pressure.
You can foam roll at the beginning of your workout as part of your warm up or you can roll at the end of the your workout as part of your recovery.
What parts of my body should I foam roll?
You can foam roll just about anywhere on your body.
Big muscles such as hamstrings, quadriceps and calves; smaller areas such as hip flexors and the dreaded ITB (Iliotibial Band); and upper body areas such as around the shoulder blades or forearms.
For some parts of the body, you might find a ball is easier to use than a foam roller, simply because of its size.
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