Are you tight, sore and stiff? It’s time to start rolling.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to stretch and recover after your gym sessions? Keep reading, and I’ll give you my secret for foam rolling to recovery.
Everyone has time to stretch, roll and recover.
Stretching and mobility are both excellent forms of recovery and will give you benefits that you are looking for after a session. Foam Rolling and Ball Rolling will increase the benefits of stretching and release the tightness in your muscles. 5-10 minutes, that’s all it takes! Try it in the evening when you are watching tv, after dinner or after you put the kids to bed.
What is Foam Rolling or Ball Rolling?
Foam Rolling is a technique used in the fitness industry, which means – Self-myofascial release. Self-myofascial was once a mysterious technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists but has become more familiar to people at all levels of fitness for everyday practice. Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method is performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body, you can aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.
How does this ‘Self Massage’ work?
Myofascial release or ‘self-massage’ means compressing the tissues that are deep in the muscles. Deep compression helps to break up or relax tight muscles and adhesions formed between muscle layers and their surroundings. Imagine you are tenderising your muscles. They should be soft and supple like a baby’s muscle. However, if our muscles are not taken care of properly, we can experience loss of flexibility, adhesions, and painful movement. The deep compression of self-myofascial release allows normal blood flow to return and the restoration of healthy tissue. The body naturally wants to be healthy and robust, but sometimes an extra boost is needed to achieve optimal muscle and tissue health.
How do I know where to start?
You can identify trigger points and tight muscles through self-exploration, utilising the list of techniques below, and exploring each one.
To ensure that you foam roll properly, follow my 10-step guide to Foam Rolling:
Start from your Calves and work your way up.
Always roll towards your heart. Moderate pressure when rolling towards your heart and then take the pressure off to start again.
Apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your bodyweight.
You should roll slowly, no more than one inch per second. When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds and relax as much as possible.
Roll each area for around 5-30 seconds.
The discomfort or pain should decrease, and you should slowly start to feel the muscle releasing.
Know your body!
If an area is too painful to roll directly, then start by applying the pressure through the roller on the surrounding areas, which will gradually, loosen the entire area.
Remember, our goal is to restore healthy muscles
IT IS NOT A PAIN TOLERANCE TEST!
You may also use other objects to work on muscles.
Try a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or Trigger Point Therapy Kit.
Never roll a joint or bone.
If you feel tingling down your leg while rolling your glutes or tingling in any other area while rolling them, stop immediately and move to another area as the tingling is the trapping of nerves.
Avoid rolling your lower back.
To target these muscles, I recommend using a tennis or lacrosse balls. If you are having issues with your neck, refer these issues to an appropriate medical professional, as these areas they can be more sensitive and require more advanced attention.
Leave it 24-48 hours after release before you roll the same muscle area again!
Drink lots of water after and take your magnesium.
This will increase recovery time in the muscles.
Until Next Time Strongbody Warriors,
Happy Foam Rolling,
Betsy Burnett is a 3x Ninja Warrior Australia competitor and tenacious Personal Trainer. Through her collaboration with Josh O’Sullivan, the dynamic duo have developed the ultimate Ninja Warrior program just for you! You can also train with Betsy in her one-off workouts.