Foam rolling provides self-myofascial release, which is a fancy term for self-massage. Whether you have just started working out, or have been more consistent, you probably have experienced tightness and soreness in your muscles. As someone who enjoys running, I have dealt with many sore days myself, especially in my quads and calves! So when I came home to find that Elyse had bought a foam roller, I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. Anything to get rid of the soreness was worth a shot!
The benefits of foam rolling were immediate and it is now a part of my weekly routine! Some of the major benefits of foam rolling include:
- Improved blood flow and faster recovery – Foam rolling increases circulation throughout your muscles and tissues, allowing for faster recovery after workouts
- Increased range of motion – Foam rolling helps to increase flexibility and range of motion. It has similar benefits of stretching but can actually take it a step further by relieving muscle knots. This is because foam rolling works more like a massage, and since you control the movements, you can focus in on specific areas.
- Healing of adhesions and scar tissue – Adhesions and scar tissue can form a lack of mobility, injury, or general inflammation and can become painful over time. The pressure from foam rolling, (and foam rolling slowly I should add!) helps to relieve adhesions and scar tissue. In addition, with your increased flexibility and blood flow, foam rolling can help prevent the issue(s) going forward.
It should be said that foam rolling can be intense (especially at first) and be a little painful. This is because you are giving yourself a deep tissue massage and working out specific tension points in your body, which ultimately allows you to feel better. However, please keep in mind that because of the pressure provided by foam rolling, it is important to not use it on your lower back or neck, as the pressure could cause injury.
Check out the foam rolling routine below to get started:
Life can be crazy and it can be difficult to fit in a longer workout. So for those days when you are in a rush, remember to still make time for you and get in this quick 5 minute lower body workout!
Jumping Jacks x20
Deadlifts with Side Leg Raises x10 (10 per leg)
Plie Squats with Calf Raises x20
Side Lunges x10 (10 per side)
Squat and Hold for 30 seconds
Bridge Lifts x10
Bridge Hold for 30 seconds
For a reference on how to complete each move, watch the video below:
Need a quick ab burn? This routine is great for when you are in a hurry or just want to get in an extra workout. When performing the moves, focus on maintaining proper form (especially keeping your lower back on the floor when on your back), and remember to breath. Inhale when you go back and exhale when you crunch or reach up.
20 ankles reaches
10 toe touches
30 second plank (on the last set, hold as long as you can)
Repeat 2 more times with no more than 30 seconds rest in between
See video below for overview on how to perform each move.