Continuing with my new theme of posts that follow up a video, which I am starting to enjoy very much by the way, we are going to talk about how you can give a massage to yourself. In other words, I’m going to break down foam rolling, why it’s good, and how you can achieve the best results.
I am a huge fan of foam rolling, and I try to roll around on something for at least a few minutes every day. Aside from the massive amount of benefits from foam rolling, it just feels great, and its ease is a nice bonus too. How many other exercises can yield large results with such little effort? More bang for your buck, as they say.
Now, since you all have begun to enjoy my voice so much, I won’t keep it from you any longer. Enjoy.
As always, the bulleted breakdown of the main takeaways.
What is Foam Rolling?
- A form of self-myofascial release
- Fascia is the tissue that wraps muscles keeping everything together
- Similar to a massage, but can be performed on oneself
- Foam rolling helps:
- Push the “gunk” (metabolic waste products) out of the fascia
- Redistribute water
- Loosen areas that may have tightened
How does foam rolling help?
- Better than nothing, similar to stretching
- Flexibility coming at two different areas
- Improved short term flexibility
- Improved long term flexibility
- Does not have negative consequences
- Stretching DOES negatively effect performance, decrease power output
- Decrease recovery time between max effort bouts
- Cardiovascular function may be improved
- Decrease in arterial stiffness
- Reduced DOMS with foam rolling
Foam Rolling Guidelines
- Apply pressure to the muscle by sitting/laying on a rolling device
- Roll slowly back and forth over the entire length of the muscle
- Use small roles over areas that are extra sensitive
- Apply as much pressure as possible
- Use a slow rolling stroke instead of fast rolls
- Keep at it every day, or most days of the week
- 8-10 rolls over each muscle group
- More rolling required if done less
- With troublesome areas, roll for as long as it takes to feel the area loosen up
Some of my favorite rolling devices for cheap are: Lacrosse ball, Softball, PVC pipe
If you want to splurge a little bit, here are some devices that are designed to dig in a little deeper:
Supernova – the angry softball
80mm Supernova – the angry lacrosse ball
Gemini – this thing will make even the toughest person break down and wheep
Battlestar – aka the wheel of death