by blake beckcom



and Why Should You Be Doing It?

What Is It

foam rolling a self-massage at no cost, but it also primes your body for movement and helps your recovery process. Here’s more.


What is foam rolling? Foam rolling is technically called self-myofascial

release, or SMR for short, in the fitness industry. Your muscles and organs are surrounded by connective tissue called fascia that holds them together. Therefore, foam rolling is actually manipulating and massaging the fascia in your body. Foam rolling is basically a deep-tissue massage

that you give yourself, by placing parts of your body on the foam roller and applying pressure, then moving in a slow- or fast-rolling motion or holding still. You are in charge of the pressure and can reduce or increase as needed by putting more or less of your weight on the roller. Foam rollers are cylinders, typically made of

compressed foam, but they can also be made out of harder plastic with knobs on them to make the massage even deeper. Foam rollers are inexpensive and can usually be found in the stretching area at the gym, but you can also buy one to use at home. What does foam rolling do? Foam rolling helps to take care of your body and muscles, and does more than stretching. Not only does foam rolling help you to get greater range of motion in your workouts, but it also ensures that you have a better chance of staying free of injury and pain.

During rolling, when you find a tight spot, a trigger

point or a knot, you stay on that area and hold it until it is slowly released. Releasing these knots gets fluid moving throughout your body, aids in recovery, reduces injuries and increases mobility. When should you foam roll? You can foam roll before or after your workout, or

even better, both. Foam rolling directly before a workout helps

you to improve your range of motion by working through any knots that may be inhibiting your full movements. Foam rolling before a workout is a great thing to include in your warm-up, because you get blood flowing to your muscles and turn them on, which means you have a better chance of activating the right muscles during your actual workout, thus getting more out of it. Foam rolling after a workout is part of the

cool-down and recovery process, and it can reduce muscle soreness and tightness overall, so that you can come back stronger to your next workout. When you spend time slowly rolling after you’ve finished your session, you give your body a chance to power down, and you also begin the healing process through massaging the tension or adhesions that may have come about during your workout in the muscles.

What parts of the body should you

foam roll? If you’re just getting started, you should begin by

rolling the quads, hamstrings, calves, upper-back, IT bands (outside of the thigh) and piriformis (buttocks). Before a workout, you can move a bit faster during

the foam rolling, while holding pressure on the knots for about 30 seconds. Then, after your workout, you should move much slower across the muscles, also holding pressure on the knots for about 30 seconds. Foam rolling only needs to take 5 to 10 minutes, both before and after your workout. But still, why should you foam roll? If you’re on a mission to get healthier and fitter,

then you want to make sure you’re giving your body the best chance possible to feel good and stay injury-free. Foam rolling truly takes care of your muscles and connective tissue and allows you to move better, recover smarter and give yourself a really helpful massage whenever you want it.

Fitness Together Mission Hills offers personal training with qualified professionals by regular appointment in private suites. Exercise and nutritional programs are custom designed to fit your needs and abilities. Call 619-794-0014 for information or to schedule a free fitness diagnostic and private training session. See what others are saying about us on Yelp.

hile it may seem like just another thing that your trainer is telling you to do, foam rolling is absolutely essential in your workout routine and offers a ton of benefit outside of the gym. Not only is


RAGE monthly | December 2019

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