Foam rolling has become more and more popular in recent years. It is a form of self-myofascial release (SMR); meaning, we are basically giving ourselves a massage which promotes blood flow and in turn, joint function. Fitness professionals know the benefits of using a foam roller, but its legitimacy has been in question by skeptics who believe it to be just another fitness fad. However, when you consider that every major collegiate and professional team use foam rolling as a part of their strength and conditioning programs, your skepticism becomes unwarranted.
- prepares our muscles for exercise
- improves joint function and mobility
- decreases muscle soreness
- can potentially help decrease joint pain
The other good news is that SMR can be done every day. Research has shown that performing foam-rolling before you do basic static stretching exercises can help you reach new performance levels. This is because SMR helps your muscles become more flexible. The more flexibility your muscles have, the more power you can create. So if you’re a runner looking to increase your muscles stamina and power, or a powerlifter trying to reach a new max, these techniques can work for you.
My three favorite techniques in order: the upper back, glutes (separate), and the quadriceps group.
Try for ten rolls per technique, making sure the muscle you are rolling is completely relaxed. Do this before and after each workout, and feel the difference for yourself. If you need more detailed instruction, the trainers at Silverlake can show you how it is done.