WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: FOAM ROLLING
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
From a previous Wellness Wednesday: all about Foam Rolling. Let's just get right into it.
WHAT IS FOAM ROLLING
"Practitioners of myofascial release employ long, stretching strokes meant to balance tissue and muscle mechanics and improve joint range of motion in order to relieve pain."
"Self-massage exercises that help soothe sore, tight areas (trigger points) and help speed up muscle recovery. Also called myofascial release."
BENEFITS OF FOAM ROLLING
○ Prevents / decreases risk of injury and helps you recover faster
○ Improves flexibility and mobility
○ Increases blood flow
○ Better range of motion
○ Removes lactic acid to aid in recovery
○ Helps relieve muscle tensions
○ Good for warming up before a workout when muscle are sore
WHEN TO FOAM ROLL
The most recommend time to roll is before AND after a workout.
Rolling before: helps decrease muscle density and promotes a better warmup
Rolling after: helps relieve lactic acid build up for a better, faster recovery
TYPES OF FOAM ROLLERS (linked)*
○ lightest and softest
○ great for use in exercise classes
○ good for all purposes (specific exercises or stretch)
○ for a more intense, deeper, concentrated myofascial release
○ great for athletes that need a quick recovery so they can train hard
○ designed to "dig in" to trigger points to quickly release muscle knots
○ easier to maneuver for a specific area
○ also great for travelling with
OTHER MYOFASCIAL RELEASE TOOLS (linked)*
MASSAGE BALLS Regular (smooth)
○ can be used anywhere on the body
○ tennis balls are just as good (as long as they're clean...) Spiky ball
○ particularly great for feet
○ also great on hips and back
○ great for lower body, particularly quads, hamstrings, calves
○ deep tissue massage for feet
These are just some of the many different tools you can use to perform self myofascial release. If you want to hack it yourself before you invest in some proper tools, you can use household items instead!
Tennis, golf, lacrosse, and baseballs in place of massage balls
Dowels or something similar (broom handle, PVC pipe) in place of foam rollers
Hard plastic bottles in place of foam rollers
If you've never tried foam rolling, do yourself a favour and ... DO IT! Especially if you have issues with muscle soreness after you workout.
Foam rolling can seem intimidating for beginners, so don't feel discouraged or confused. Find YouTube videos or online guides to follow along to until you get the hang of it and find a routine that works best for you.
Your body WILL thank you.
*Foam rollers, massagers, etc. are all linked in the titles of the items. You can also find all of these items from many different retailers, like Amazon, WalMart, Winners, Canadian Tire (some, maybe not all items), SportChek, etc.
I've never used her foam rolling guide, but I used to use the SWEAT app and there's a section of foam rolling exercise to follow along to that I absolutely LOVED using. There's a little video of Kayla doing the exercises so you can see exactly how to do it, along with descriptions and a timer so you know how long to perform each movement.