HELLOOO! HAPPY Monday!!
How was your weekend? Was it fun? Healthy? Productive? Or ALL of the above...lol?! I had a GREAT weekend! I did loads of fun stuff with my family!! I have to say that the weekend went at lightning speed ;) However...it's M O N D A Y...YAY!!! A new week and a fresh start, so what goals will you be working on? Sweat is magic...lol! Cover yourself in it this week to accomplish your goals!! Work towards being a healthier you even if you don't want to do it! End of story :D Don't forget that "HEALTHY" looks different AND amazing on everybody!! You got this!!!
Today's post is about Foam Rolling. This probably sounds familiar, but maybe you're not sure what it is or how to do it ;) Foam rolling offers many of the same benefits as a sports massage BUT without the big price tag! Sounds FITastic, right?! If you know what foam rolling is all about, you can use this post as a refresher!!! Lets get ROLLING :D
A foam roller is an inexpensive, super-versatile piece of equipment that a person uses to stretch muscles and tendons. It also breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller, you can perform a self-myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.
Myofascial release is a bodywork technique in which a person uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles, and bones.
With a bit of patience, you can be a self-myofascial release pro in no time ;)
Short and tight muscles should be foam rolled. The most common short or tight muscles are the calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, adductors, latissimus dorsi, and the pectorals. These muscles are all safe to roll because they're relatively large and aren't laying over vital structures or organs. If you're not sure where these muscles are located, you can google them in a heartbeat! You can even find photos of them (if you're a visual person) online!!
Don't target organs using a foam roller! Most vital organs are protected, but other organs are accessible thru the abdomen and low back, such as the kidneys under the floating ribs. Though you can't get direct pressure on them, rolling the low back can apply a significant amount of pressure to the ribs.
Large hard rollers should never be used on your abdomen.
Small rollers should be used with caution.
The following are important things to keep in mind when you're foam rolling ;)
- Foam rolling shouldn't start a fire between the roller and your target. To get the most out of rolling, move about an inch per second. This will help to identify restrictions or knots and the muscles respond better to slow rolling. Allow your body to change and don't force it.
- Stop on the tender spots. Tender spots may trigger points or knots. These are best addressed by holding pressure directly on them for 30 to 90 seconds or until the tenderness reduces. Just hold pressure giving your body a chance to relax and don't knead or rock back and forth.
- Move in a different direction occasionally. Foam rolling up and down the muscles is great when searching for tender spots or increasing blood flow. However, muscles move in all directions and so should your rolling. With myofascial restrictions or adhesions, do a few cross frictions, rotations, or pin-and-stretch movements to help break-up the restrictions.
- Give yourself a couple of days after your first session to access for bruises and give the muscles time to recover. Some tenderness afterward is normal, but you should never feel pain once off the foam roller. You can roll prior, during, and after a workout.
Foam rolling is a very effective technique and is continuing to increase in popularity! Foam rollers can be bought just about anywhere!! You can also check out Amazon for a broad selection of foam rollers and to find the best 1 to suit your needs :)
As always...stay hydrated and breathe...lol! HAPPY ROLLING!!
See you back here on Thursday!!!
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist