Foam Roller Exercises for Mobility

Foam Rolling explained

Do I look funny doing it? Is it really helping? Is it the same as stretching? How often should I be rolling? Why is rolling so sore?
We’re not saying that foam rolling is going to instantly boost your performance, but we are saying that if you’re serious about your training, then you should be doing it.
“But what is it for”, we hear you ask. Foam rolling your muscles can; alleviate soreness in your muscles, increase blood flow to repair your muscle fibres, reduce inflammation, prevent injury, prep you for your workout, aid in mobility and more!
Are you sold yet? 

Self-Myofascial Release
Have you heard of Self-Myofascial Release? Can you pronounce it? The term has been thrown around a lot in recent years. In basic terms, it is using a tool to massage yourself in order to help with muscle pain. Do you remember when you were young, you automatically rubbed a bruise or bump after falling? That was a natural action and is done to increase blood flow around the damaged area to heal it faster. Using a foam roller is, in one way extremely similar to this. See, you already knew you needed it 

How Often Should I Foam Roll? 

You can (and should) foam roll before and after exercise and on your days off. It will all help you in your training recovery and to avoid injury. And yes, it really works.

Foam Rolling Before Exercise 

So, you've learned about foam rolling for repairing but on the other side of the coin, foam rolling can also be used as a prevention of injury and treatment tool for muscles. Rolling your muscles can help maintain muscle length and easily stretch out your muscle in preparation for exercise. Have you ever rolled out dough or pastry? Same idea.

Guide to Foam Rolling 

Now that you’re convinced that you should be foam rolling, the next steps are identifying the muscles that can be foam rolled and doing it right.

Here are the exercises:

UPPER BACK 

Lie with your back centered on the roller.
Lift your hips so that your back is balancing on the roller and your feet are on the ground.
Roll through your upper and lower back.

LATS

Lie on one side with your arm outstretched.
Use your elbow and legs to raise your body with your lat on the roller.
Roll along your lats from your armpit downwards.

HAMSTRINGS 

Sit with the roller just behind your knee.
Lift yourself up so that your hands and resting foot are on the ground with your working leg on the roller.
Roll between your knee and glute.

GLUTES 

Sit on the roller with the side of your glute.
Lift yourself up so that your hands and resting foot are on the ground with your working glute on the roller.
Roll to the outside portion of the glute.

QUADS

Lie face down with your quads on the roller.
Lift yourself up so that your elbows and toes are on the ground with your leg on the roller.
Roll from your hip area down to your knees.

CALVES

Sit down with the Roller just above your ankle.
Lift yourself up so that your hands and resting foot are on the ground with your working calf on the roller.
Roll between your ankle and knee.

HIPS AND THIGHS 

Lie with your hip flexor on the edge of the roller.
Lift yourself up so that your elbow and feet are on the ground with your working hip on the roller.
Roll from your upper thigh to lower ab area.

SHOULDERS

Lie on your side with your shoulder resting on the roller.
Lift yourself up slightly so that the side of your knee and foot are on the ground with your working shoulder on the roller.
Roll up and down your upper arm and shoulder.

Recovery Rolling Guidelines  

After your workouts and on your rest days, make sure you’re doing all you can to get rid of any soreness and prep yourself for your next day training.
You’ll want to roll any muscle that you trained recently, focusing on any muscle groups that are especially sore.
You’ll want to make sure you are massaging right on the muscle and all around it in order to fully benefit.
For recovery rolling, you generally want to massage each muscle for 2-5 minutes. Shorter bursts are more beneficial for warm-up rolling. 

Warm Up Rolling Guidelines 

When you want to loosen those muscles to prep for your training, there are specific muscles that should get special attention. They are major muscles that often link groups and are used on a wide range of exercises. Here are the muscles you’ll want to roll every time:
- Hamstrings
- Back
- Thighs and hips

But don’t think that’s it! Make sure you still prep the muscles that you are focusing on.
In general, for warm up rolling, you’ll see the benefit from 10 rolls on the muscle. 

When you want to loosen those muscles to prep for your training, there are specific muscles that should get special attention. They are major muscles that often link groups and are used on a wide range of exercises. Here are the muscles you’ll want to roll every time:
- Hamstrings
- Back
- Thighs and hips

But don’t think that’s it! Make sure you still prep the muscles that you are focusing on.
In general, for warm up rolling, you’ll see the benefit from 10 rolls on the muscle. 

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