Foam rolling is the inexpensive fitness must-do that is the single best way to prevent injury and optimise your training results.
Foam rolling is the single best way to optimise your training results and prevent soreness.
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial (outer layer muscle) release that involves applying pressure to specific parts of your body. It can be used as tissue prep before your workout or after a workout for tissue recovery to prevent soreness.
How foam rolling works:
Using the foam roller to apply pressure on sore areas helps break up adhesions (muscle tears or tightness) and restore muscle function and healthy blood flow.
Using a foam roller after your workout will help you optimise your training results.
So you think you can foam roll? Here’s what to do:
If there is a definite trigger point, sustain pressure on the tender area for 15-30 seconds. This should assist in rehydration and releasing the knot. Fast rolling is relatively ineffective and could result in unnecessary muscle tension and bruising. Remember, you’re working on a thick, fibrous web of tissue, so a quick pass over with the roller won’t fix anything.
Spend time on areas that need it. Target specific areas that will help you with certain movements. Don’t be afraid to explore new areas (e.g. your lats, inner thigh, the sole of your foot); I guarantee you’ll find new, tighter spots to work on.
Avoid Excessive Rolling on Injured Area
Constantly working over an injured area can end up creating more inflammation and tension. Instead, foam roll away from the injured area to the connecting tissues and attachment areas.
There are so many different ways to benefit from using a foam roller to optimise your training results.
If you don’t have a foam roller, you could use a tennis ball or even your own hands.
Once this area is rid of all the old blood that was unable to move freely, new blood is then able to move into the area and create better movement and better muscle recruitment.
By Sonia McGlynn, Personal Trainer @ Orangetheory Fitness, Bondi Junction
Sonia is a Sydney-based PT who describes herself as a "lucky Irish Leprechaun". She has been involved in every sport possible from football, dancing and everything in-between since she was able to walk. It's her passion to help others achieve their goals, but she thinks it's important to have a good balance in life between food, training and enjoying the odd Saturday night out. She believes we are all human and need time to let our hair down and relax whether it be having that pizza instead of salad or a schooner to cool & refresh after a coastal walk.