We’ve been training for quite some time, making all kinds of gains. We’ve been making strength gains, muscle gains, life gains as well as pain gains. We are beaten up, sore everyday and begin to think to ourselves “what’s the purpose of doing all of this training if we are sore and achy day in and day out?” In comes the foam roller to save the day…and our gains.
The Foam Roller
A foam roller is a cylindrical piece of equipment. It’s usually sitting in the corner of your gym’s dance studio collecting dust or behind the front desk waiting for some lucky bastard to pick it up reap the benefits of all of it’s cylindrical goodness. This lucky bastard is you! This piece of equipment can mean the difference between a grindy, achy, leg session or a leg session fortified with personal records and immaculate mobility throughout.
Benefits of using the foam roller
Devoting atleast 15 minutes each day to foam rolling is beneficial on many levels. We are able to train harder, train longer and feel better all throughout the session. After foam rolling, blood circulation improves throughout the muscles, flexibility improves and therefore we have a much more productive session to look forward to.
How to use the foam roller
Grab the foam roller and start on your trouble spots. It’s best to use circular motions, rolling motions or a rocking movement to kneed out scar tissue and tightness. I am not going to lie to you, this does hurt and can be very painful at times but it is well worth it. Avoid tightening and tensing the muscles as you work. This is soft tissue work so stay away from the bones and joints. Relax and roll away the aches and pains. Again, we want to do this for atleast 15 minutes and throw in some stretching as well after.
When I first started training, I thought this foam rolling stuff was for softies. Now after training for three years and feeling the stiffness, tightness, aches and pains, I can stand to soften up a little bit. It is well worth it in the long run due to the benefits it has on not only the muscles, but the connective tissues. The better condition our muscles and connective tissues are in, the smoother we progress during our journey to becoming stronger.