I want to talk about rolling and why it’s so important. No this is not going to be a post about taking Molly so take it easy. We are talking about the foam rollers that help with sore muscles.
Wether your an fitness enthusiast that works out constantly or someone that just works out once or twice a week, we all get sore! It’s the worst feeling when you’ve had a great workout, or hike and you wake up the next day and two days later (when you really feel the soreness) barely able to sit on the toilet. That’s happened to me plenty of times because I work out my hamstrings pretty hard.
A couple of years back, one of my trainers introduced me to foam rollers and my life was changed forever! They are a great recovery method so definitely give them a try next time you are feeling sore.
Self-myofascial release or foam rolling is a way to release muscle tightness or trigger points. It’s also a fancy term for self-massage. You apply pressure on specific muscles while laying on a foam roller and help your recovery by helping the muscles loosen up and become more elastic. Foam rolling will in fact be a little uncomfortable and you might experience similar pain to getting a deep tissue massage. But the pain is worth the gain! Let’s use an example of a a knot in an elastic. If you pull on it, pressure will be applied to the already tight knot and it will only get tighter and harder to undo.
Foam rolling helps break up “knots” in your body and resume normal blood flow and function. Normally, our bodies are pretty resilient and can recover from pretty much anything on its own. It might just take some time. Foam rolling is a great way to help aid the recovery process and get you back to your best self. The compression you feel from rolling your sore muscles on the foam roller helps break up adhesions that form between muscle layers and allows normal blood flow to return to those areas, aiding in therestoration of healthy tissue.
Now, let’s talk about the Do’s and Don’ts of rolling:
- If an area is super painful, don’t roll directly on that area. Start a few inches away and work your way there slowly.
- Roll slowly! Let you brain and body adapt to what you’re doing without pounding away at a sore muscle.
- Doing short, slow rolls over tender areas sometimes is better than rolling the entire muscle.
- Don’t spend more than a minute on a spot in one session. Let your body adjust to what you just did to it.
- Look at YouTube videos or talk to a trainer to initially learn the proper form of rolling different areas. Remember you can hurt yourself so easily so learn the proper techniques.
- Foam rolling is uncomfortable during the fact but shouldn’t be painful. If discomfort turns to pain, then you found a trigger point (an area in the muscle that can lead to pain in other areas of the body).
This is what a foam roller looks like if you haven’t seen one. You can find it at any fitness store or even a Target and Walmart.
Now remember, it might not be super pleasant to roll but it should never be truly painful and you’ll feel wonderful after.
For more fitness tips check out my FITNESS TAB.