What is foam rolling?
Have you ever wondered? What does foam rolling do? There are so many benefits to foam rolling for stress, movement prep, and muscle recovery.
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What does foam rolling do?
Do you know what foam rolling does? It relieves your tensed neck from stress. It’s great to help prepare your muscles for a workout, and its an optimal recovery from any type of strength-based training. I’ve always wondered what does foam rolling does? The technical term for foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. Which basically means giving yourself a massage to release tight muscles. Foam rolling or SMR can be beneficial to relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion. I always suggest that my clients’ foam rolling before our sessions and after our sessions to receive the most benefits.
Check out this post on the Importance of Warm-Up and Cooldown.
Foam Rolling while at Home
Until I took a class at Idea World Convention, being at home has made me aware of the need to foam roll. I never knew what to do to foam roll until I attended a foam rolling workshop hosted by Trigger Point and taught by a professional fitness idol of mine, Michael Piercy. It’s also as a trainer, something that I recommend to my clients. I find that I foam rolled more because I demonstrated foam rolling technique as well as used foam rolling tools like the Hyperice Hypervolt on clients to help released inhibited muscles. Quarantine life has made me realize how spoiled I’ve become to modern-day luxuries. We are all beginning to realize that we had many self-care practices in place that we aren’t able to continue at home like it was before.
Foam Rolling should be done daily
Actually, only one. My weekly massages can never replace the necessity to foam roll before and after exercise. Especially as I age, I find the need increases. Weekly massages are excellent for self-care and to hit specific problem areas. Usually, I get a sports massage. When COVID 19 began, I was just getting back to my regular massages routine after a two-month break. Mostly out of the necessity of prepping for my show and training six days a week.
I started getting regular sports massages about three years ago. I was always sore, imbalanced, overcompensated, and just needed some trigger points rubbed out. Especially my Shoulder, Back, Hips, and calves. It may be a long time before I return to weekly massages. I can already feel the effects of missing the last five weeks. Even when I don’t see her, I need to practice foam rolling. You should include foam rolling with every workout. Foam Rolling and stretching are high for everyone to do. It’s much easier if you have the correct tools to get the job done. There are many options out there, even stores like Five and Below have SMR tools. Just keep in mind:
“Not all foam rollers are made equally.”
I‘m grateful for Self Myofascia tools I have to help with recovery while we are staying at home. SMR, massages, and recovery should be an added part of your training program. To give your body the optimal performance and recovery.
There are many benefits to Foam Rolling.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling helps prepare the body for movement and accelerates recovery.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling can help an athlete reduce the chances of repetitive stress injury.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling can minimize muscular imbalances.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling can improve overall flexibility, function, and athletic performance.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling can help to reduce and eliminate stored tension in muscles, which aids in alleviating aches and pains. When you foam roll, you may feel discomfort, but you will feel relief.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling can promote the release of endorphins. The release of endorphins helps to reduce pain, which reduces “trigger points” or susceptible areas.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling can increases circulation, allowing oxygen and other nutrients to reach the muscles and other soft tissues. The increased circulation helps reduce muscle soreness and improve tissue recovery.
- Self-myofascial (SMR) or foam rolling can improve your joint range of motion, which helps restore movement while performing a task or exercise.
What do you do after you foam roll?
Foam Rolling is a great way to release the muscle. NExstretch the tissue so that it won’t go back to the previous state and increase the movement of the muscle. I like to stretch within 20-30 seconds after foam rolling a specific body part. Lengthening the muscle can be very beneficial to the pre-exercise movement and post-exercise recovery.
Foam Rolling is meant to be done at home
Make sure the next time you train, you foam roll at home before you go or at the gym. Foam Rolling or SMR is meant to be done to yourself and a much more affordable way to tackle trigger points, then getting a weekly massage. It’s best to foam roll before and after training. It helps to prepare and recover your muscles for optimal performance.
Your warmup should include the following four phases:
It’s a great way to introduce foam rolling to your Warmups and Cooldowns. Check out my post on Workout Safety: Warms Ups and Cooldowns Post
Here are the foam rolling tools I would invest in for the long term recovery
Your basic foam roller that you will see at most gyms and in stores. It’s simple and, when used correctly, can get your muscle released. I will be making some foam rolling videos soon. Subscribe to my YouTube to be the first to check them out.
Trigger Point Grid I recommend The Trigger Point Grid for some many reasons. I prefer it over the basic foam roller because it’s more firm. The inside is almost PVC pipe material versus an entire foam cylinder like the basic foam roller. It’s covered with foam and has ridges around it you can use almost like a massages as you rock; side to side and then roll; back and forth to release trigger points. This is an excellent upgrade from the basic foam roller, and it will knead those knots out. Check out the Trigger Point Grid.
Upgrade from the Trigger Point Grid
Vibrating Massage Rollers are becoming very popular. I discovered HyperIce three years ago at Idea World Convention 2017. I have been in love ever since there is lots of science backing the value of Vibrating Self-Myofascia. The Hyperice Vyper is a great release tool. The vibration reduces the tension and pain of foam rolling, opens up the veins for optimal blood flow, and you feel the results immediately. Check out the HyperIce Vyper 2.0
What does massage balls do?
Trigger Point Massage Ball
Massage Balls do the same thing as other massage tools, but their shape allows you to get into certain body areas comfortably. The Trigger Point Massage Ball is great for my neck, Quadratrus Laborum, aka QL, aka “lower back pain” and smaller balls are great for your hands and feet. The Trigger Point has massage balls in several sizes which is great to have more variety and sizes. I used to have all three but lost one on vacation a few years ago. Trigger Point Massage ball has three layers; each layer of color is a different density, so it feels like a finger massage in all the right places. Giving you a deep tissue massage in those problematic areas. I definitely recommend adding this ball to your foam rolling collection. Check out the Trigger Point Massage Ball.
Upgrade from the Trigger Point Massage Ball
Adding vibration increases the benefit of your foam rolling sessions by having all the benefits of SMR and then adding the benefits on increased circulation, vein dilation, muscle recovery, and reduces pain and soreness. My next addition to my SMR tool collection will be the HyperIce Hypersphere.
What does foam rolling stick do?
Like all the other SMR tolls, foam rolling sticks are to help you massage trigger points from your muscles. Sticks are just another way of getting to muscles that are hard to get to with a Cylinder or Sphere foam roller. Sticks are also great to travel with but can be hard to use in all places if you lack flexibility. I use my sticks for my calves. With my family’s assistance, use it on my shoulders and back. You can lie on it too if you’re by yourself and roll those trigger points out. Check out the Trigger Point STK Contour Orange.
Trigger Point GRID STK
I love this foam roller because it’s having all the ridges of the grid in a portable stick. The Trigger Point Grid STK is my travel buddy, especially when I go to Fitness Conventions or places like Fit Approach Empower Summer Camp. This is great for someone who is a hotel gym travel job once we can travel again. In the meantime, add the Trigger Point GRID STK to your wishlist.
Foot Foam Rollers
My other recommendation for runners and if you have foot issues is Sole Healers. Also, Check out my post on how to take care of your feet! I have lots of great tips!
Other Foam Rolling tools
I have been sharing my hip issues that probably stem from my birth. I was born with a dislocated hip. Through my journey of Integrative Medicine
At Idea World Convention 2019, I got a chance to check out the Pso-Rite, and despite my face and grown, I came home with these two Pso-Rites. The Full size and mini. It’s sturdy plastic, and you place pressure on what every ails you within 20-60 seconds; you will feel a release. I also love the mini; it’s an excellent replacement for fingers when giving a massage with your hands.
The HyperIce Hypervolt is probably my favorite Massage tool. I use it two or three times a day. Especially when I am in the gym, I love it so much I purchased it for our home. It gets used several times a day. It has all the benefits of every tool above but in the palm of your hand. You can control the intensity of the vibration, and it has four different massage heads to tackle your trigger point. This is the absolute best muscle release tool on the market that I have tried. Check out the HyperIce HyperVolt.
What should you use to foam roll?
Whatever foam rolling tool you use, make sure that you do it before and after your workout. Don’t rush, spend time on your trigger points, and follow it with stretch. It will help you feel better and train better.
Join me for a 30-minute Foam Rolling class!
Do you have any SMR or foam rolling tools? Which one is your favorite? Which one do you want to try?