If you have never tried foam rolling, you might be in for a real surprise.
Foam rolling is a terrific way to get a spa-quality massage right in the comfort of your own home. Foam rollers are cheap and easy to find. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the benefits of foam rolling, as well as some expert tips to help you make the most of your very own foam roller.
Not just for serious exercisers, foam rolling is a type of self-massage that allows you to alleviate tight spots or trigger points such as muscle knots by using a piece of equipment known as a foam roller. Foam rolling is perfect for people who sit at a desk all day, have poor posture, recurring joint issues, or any other ailments caused by using bad form while exercising.
While it is primarily a form of stretching, foam rolling can make up a large part of your overall training goals too, no matter whether you are mostly a couch potato or an elite athlete.
Foam rolling works by reducing the amount of inflammation that can occur during the muscle repair process. Foam rolling is also a useful thing to do if you are interested in general muscle repair and recovery after a tough workout.
Over time, foam rolling may help you align your body and move with greater ease. Consider also using a menthol muscle rub or essential oils before or after your workout routine, followed by a hot shower or bath.
Putting your body into new and different positions with a foam roller can lead to many benefits when it comes to improving the overall health of your core and your spine, such as improving your overall body strength and increasing the range of motion of those muscles. These are especially important factors for you to remember as you get older.
Foam rolling increases your blood flow as well as the elasticity of your muscle tissue, joints, and fascia (the body’s connective deep tissue). Doing the full range of motion for each exercise is useful in terms of your mobility and overall well-being, and over time it can even lead to a smoother appearance of the fat cells underneath your skin.
Foam rolling can drastically improve your posture by restoring the structural balance through your shoulders. Having proportionally balanced strength and mass really contributes to great posture. Foam rolling tones your rear deltoids, which are responsible for pulling your shoulders back into position so that you look as impressive as possible.
Also, foam rolling helps prevent injuries by maintaining your muscle length and reducing the amount of tension and tightness you have. Foam rolling really promotes a feeling of relaxation and it can help you unwind after a long day because it alleviates the sore muscles that you might have as well as reducing any pain in your joints.
If you enjoy doing early morning workouts, foam rolling can be one of the best ways to stretch out specific muscle groups and prepare them to start lifting. Keep in mind that to allow your body enough time to recover properly, you should be resting for 24 to 48 hours before stretching the same muscle groups.
You will find that foam rolling can also help you create a degree of hypertrophy.
It will also help reduce the risk of injury and lower back pain. Always include a lot of rest, a good amount of time on warming up and cooling down, and a nutrition element in your workout plan. Your results will always be based on these few variables, and also on how well you cool down and recover post-workout.
You can do these exercises any time you like, but they are especially good before workouts as a warmup, or after workouts to prevent soreness. All you need is a medium-density foam roller and some open floor space. Here are eight of the best foam roller exercises to get you started and target some common tight areas.
If you are a beginner, we suggest that you try to complete this routine at least three times a week. With a lot of these exercises, you might find the tension in your deep inner-core muscles intensifying quite quickly. For all these moves, be sure to pause wherever it feels tight or tender. Inhale and then as you exhale, slowly roll your way down. Try to stretch your body in sections instead of continuously rolling back and forth.
If a desk job keeps you inactive and sitting down throughout most of the day, it is important to periodically roll out your quadriceps as a stimulating way to get your blood flowing and keep those muscles as engaged as they can be.
Sitting for extended periods of time can really affect your hip flexors. While stretching them is good, foam rolling them is even better because it works on loosening the muscle tissue as well as the connective tissue (fascia) that surrounds it.
In addition to calf stretches, you might want to try foam rolling your calf muscles to stretch them out and get rid of any pain that might have built up there. This can be a little painful, but you can be sure that your legs will feel a whole lot better after just a few of these sessions.
Other muscles that can be negatively affected by sitting all day are your hamstrings. The foam roller can really let you exert the type of pressure you might need in that area to make your legs feel so much better.
Made of connective tissue, the IT band is something that runs along your outer thigh from your hip to your knee. Soreness and tightness in this area can be quite common in runners and cyclists, but of course anyone who is experiencing this issue can benefit from this foam rolling exercise.
If you are retaining any type of tension in your upper back, a few sessions on the foam roller can really help loosen things up. Your body should feel a large sense of relief when you are done with this specific exercise.
Tight lat muscles (these are on your back, right below your armpits) can really affect your posture and make you appear much shorter than you really are. Make sure your lats are really relaxed before you work them with the foam roller.
It can be a good idea to roll out your deltoids to get some of your mobility back.
There have been studies that show a link between time under tension and the development of lean mass.
And especially because foam rolling can keep your deltoids tense and then relieve that tension, it can be a good way to tone those tight muscles.
The foam roller can act in the same way as a solid massage and working the neck is no exception. To perform this exercise:
Foam rolling can be painful, especially if you are new to it. Pain in a specific area while foam rolling can be a sign that your muscle or tissue is very tight and that it might need some extra attention. Ease into painful spots by starting in the areas right around it and the sensitivity should decrease quite quickly. But, if the pain persists, it is best not to continue until you are able to get some sound medical advice from a physical therapist.
The cells of your muscles can only produce so much force until they are pushed to the limit. Muscles can only move so much weight and do so many repetitions of a movement before they start feeling sore. Stretching your muscles to the limit can cause bodily adaptations that can increase muscle endurance and weight loss with our Ultimate Shred Stack Fat, and sometimes even lead to muscle growth.
Doing all of these stretches in the correct way can lead to some real healing of muscle soreness. Combining all of your workouts with rest and recovery periods with a foam roller can be a useful addition to your bodybuilding regimen. If you are feeling low on energy, a good supplement to try is our Hyperbolic Stack.
With foam rolling, you will really be able to see and feel some tangible results in a short amount of time. As you will soon find out, foam rolling helps keep your muscles under a high amount of tension longer than regular stretching, which can go a long way toward stimulating a whole lot of new muscle repair and growth. Be sure to talk about the process of muscle recovery with a physical therapist or your personal trainer.