The Importance & How to of Foam Rolling

Foaming rolling is a form of what is called self-myofascial release which is a flexibility technique used to inhibit (release tension) in overactive (or tight) muscle fibers. The term Fascia that you see in myofascial means connective tissue. Overall, the concept of this flexibility stretch is to relieve tension in the connective muscle tissue.

Still not understanding what foam rolling is?

Over time, with repetitive movements and bad habits, your body creates dysfunction and muscle imbalances. So if you’re experiencing mobility, flexibility, or simply just having issues with functional movement, the reason is due to muscle imbalances and dysfunction. Your experiences may include tightness in the muscles, sharp pain or a knot like feeling in the muscle.

These imbalances and dysfunctions cause the muscles to shorten or any other words, get tight. This causes limitations in the range of motion of our bodies kinetic chain.

Thankfully…

Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a self-connective tissue stretch used to elongate those shortened, tight muscles. Ultimately, so we can then re-educate those muscles.

How do I foam roll?

Many people get on the foam roller, with their bodies lose and all over the place, just rolling back and forth hard and fast.

Look I understand a lot may not know how to use a foam roller and that’s cool. I’m going share a few simple steps with no how.

First, rolling back and forth doesn’t really do anything besides temporarily relieving the pain. The first step is finding a point on the body that you feel is tight or even irritable.

Instead of rolling back and forth HOLD IT on the tender, knotted, or tight area.  Hold for about 20-30 seconds, if too intense do 3 sets of 10 seconds. If you’re of senior citizen age you can hold it for about 90 seconds or hold until you feel the tension being released. This is called autogenic inhibition. Also when foam rolling you want to make sure you’re keeping good posture. So when you are in the position you want to keep your core tight and glutes squeezed. This will keep your body straight and help better target release in that muscle.

When to foam roll?

Foam rolling isn’t something you do every day.  Foam rolling before and after every workout is not necessary. When it comes to stretching overall, there is still research being done on the effects of stretching before and after a workout. In my opinion, you should foam roll if your looking rehabilitate an injury, if you experience excessive tightness (range of motion may be limited), and depending on the type of fitness program you may be following. If your strength training or powerlifting, I would save foam rolling for rest days. If your weight lifting for aesthetics (build muscle, lose weight) you can foam roll as part of your movement preparation warm up. Again there’s not enough research to really prove how often and when to foam roll. Even though that is the case, the concept is still very effective. If you are going to foam roll just don’t over it. 1-2 times out the week for around 4 weeks to start. And this is just my opinion.

Here are a few examples of some foam rolling techniques.

I will be making another blog, going more into detail on what muscles to foam roll and why.

I’m not here to get you but to assist you.

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Thank You!