Foam Rolling – Skills Day/Mobility Day/Make-up Day
January 26, 2012
Amazing YOGA Session last night with Shannon D.
Thank you to all who participated and thank you Shannon for the expertise!
In other News… Today’s Topic… FOAM ROLLING
What is Foam Rolling?
Simply put, foam rolling can be best defined as a “self massage.” It is the process of using the combination of your body weight and cylindrical piece of hard-celled foam to increase blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues in injury prone/sore areas.
Jared’s Terms: You lay on a piece of foam to put yourself through excruciating pain only to feel completely and utterly relieved afterwards.
Foam rolling is a form of self myofascial release.
“Myofascial release is the body work technique in which a practitioner 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.
The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.” (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/flexibilityandstretching/ss/FoamRoller.htm)
Effectiveness/Areas of Relief:
The foam roller is essential in relieving soreness and pain in many long muscle groups. This includes the Adductors, Quadriceps, and Calves, but can also be used to help trigger points in smaller areas such as the TFL (tensor fascia lata), Glute medius, and Hip Rotators.
Which leads us to the next breakdown.
Exercises will range depending on the areas in which pain or soreness subsides. If you are working an injury be sure to focus on exercises that are directed to that muscle group but be conscious of the amount of work you are doing on the injured area.
Routine exercises should be focused on the longer muscle groups as a maintenance plan, but be sure to also focus on the smaller areas in order not to neglect specific muscle tissue.
Good demonstrations of the “Top 5 Foam Roller Exercises.” Accurate descriptions and details of each exercise and what muscle group is being targeted.
Another good progression to follow for foam rolling. The exercises are further down in the article but identify clearly what is being worked.
In each position/exercise, roll the area for a 60 second count. Some suggest to treat this as a normal exercise and roll in repetition counts, such as sets of 10. If you find a trigger point/knot, direct the foam roller pressure over that area to relieve the pressure. This will be painful, so adjust to your personal pain tolerance.
Total rolling time should be no more than 10 minutes.
Sure, traveling around with a certified masseuse would be much more beneficial for any athlete/client, but unfortunately times are rough these days. (I’m guessing that when the economy was at full blast, people still didn’t have personal masseuses. AND if you did, well, all I can say to you is… good for you!)
A decent foam roller will cost you anywhere from $15-$30 depending on what kind you decide to purchase which we will get in to next.
Foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes. The color of a foam roller usually depicts the density of a foam roller. The lighter the color the lesser the density, therefore, white foam rollers will be suggested for beginners who may have a lesser pain tolerance compared to dark blue or black foam rollers that may be much denser and used by more experienced athletes/clients.
I would suggest getting a denser foam roller (darker color) compared to the white or lighter colors only for the fact that you can always decrease the amount of pressure you are putting on the roller with your bodyweight. That way, you don’t have to purchase multiple foam rollers. Also, I would recommend a longer foam roller (36 inches) because it’s annoying when you are rolling out in excruciating pain and then fall off the roller because you aren’t paying attention.
If injured, roll the area of injury two to three times a day.
If rolling to prevent future injuries, roll two to three times a week.
You CAN roll both before and after your workout.
Before your workout: Will benefit your warm up as it helps decrease muscle density (loosen your muscles up).
After your workout: Will help aid in recovery from intense exercise.]]>