Foam Rolling 101: How To Roll Away Muscle Tightness
by Natashya Khoo on Mar 08, 2022
You’ve probably seen a foam roller at the gym or the sports equipment aisle of a store. Today, we see it being used more frequently alongside other equipment like resistance bands, sliders or speed rope.
Have you ever looked at the foamy contraption and wondered how to use it? Foam roller is known to be a great tool for recovery as it is effective, simple to use and affordable with minimal investment.
Foam rolling helps with improving our flexibility, muscle recovery, movement efficiency, and pain reduction with just minutes of using it. Recovery is just as important as the workout itself as it helps your body heal from all the muscle tension built up during a workout.
Here are our 4 favourite ways to use a foam roller!
1. Rolling out your quads
If you’re seated at your desk most of the time, your quads and hip flexors might be in need of a good tension release. Get down into a plank position and place the roller under your quads. Brace yourself with your core and roll down the roller.
To roll out your quads, roll over the foam roller until it goes to your knees and back up to your quads. If you feel your hips are in more need of attention, roll up and down your hips instead. Side to side works too if you’re looking for points of pressure. Be gentle but firm with your rolls, and roll consistently.
2. Releasing tension in your shoulders
Have you ever tried massaging yourself- & it didn’t work? Consider foam rolling a form of self massage. For tight shoulders, target your deltoids by laying on your side with a foam roller underneath your shoulder. Leave your arm out instead of under you to facilitate rolling.
If it’s not quite hitting the spot, try rolling out your lats. In the same position, put your arm out and above your head, with the foam roller underneath your armpit instead. Roll from your armpit to your mid-back to loosen up that sensitive back bit.
3. Improving blood flow to your calves
Depending on the exercise you’re used to, the muscles in your calves are pushed to the max during a workout, but not really tended to during recovery. Foam rolling your calves is easy as you can do it with both calves at the same time & helps move blood flow to your tired muscles.
Sit with your legs extended in front of you and have your foam roller placed right below your knees. Lift yourself off the floor with your hands, roll to your ankles and back to your upper calves. Be sure to foam roll on a hard surface at all times- yoga mats encouraged, but maybe not on your bed.
4. Fixing the posture in your upper back
Our posture is something we see every day, so we might not realise the slight changes in it until too much time has passed and it becomes too late. Improve your upper back posture by releasing the muscles holding it back.
Lay on your foam roller with knees bent and arms folded in front of you. Tightening your core and legs, roll your upper back along your neck to your mid back. For all foam rolling, stop at places that hold tension and stay there for a while.
Ready to roll, LIVLOLA fam?