Foam Rolling, the New Stretching

posted Mar 30, 2014, 1:57 PM by Rebecca Smith   [ updated Mar 30, 2014, 1:57 PM ]

Kirsty our Personal Training Tells Us Why You Should Be Foam Rolling!

I’m sure a lot of you have seen both members and trainers on the foam rollers at some point in time whilst in the gym. If you haven’t given it ago I highly recommend it. It probably doesn’t look most inviting with the painful faces we pull but the after affects are what keep us going back.
Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release and self massage. It is designed to work out the “knots” in your muscles. These knots also known as myofascial adhesions develop through stress, training, overuse, underuse, movement imbalances and injuries. Addressing these areas can have positive effects on your workout and progressions and ignoring them can lead to further damage and/or cause injury.

Now foam rolling is not noted for its comfort. However you can and should control the amount of pressure applied and steer clear of intense pain. Learning how to control the amount of pressure to distinguish between mild and tolerable discomfort is important. The aim is to apply pressure to a relaxed area or muscle even though the discomfort almost always invites the opposite response. If you roll on an area for a few minutes the muscle will begin to relax and the discomfort will ease.
In highly sensitive and tight areas foam rolling may need to be performed consistently or worked into a weekly routine. Improvements are usually noticed immediately but can come back if not performed regularly.
As with all things exercise related you should ease yourself in gradually and progress along. Start with the softer rollers in the gym and a smaller amount of pressure applied. Once you feel comfortable increase the pressure at the most sensitive areas. Over time you will be able to decide whether certain areas need more attention or a harder roller.

Foam rolling can be performed as all times of a workout. If performed at the beginning, the session to follow would reap some benefits including better range of movement and  less soreness. However the need for foam rolling before a session is not always evident until performing a certain exercise in which case it can be done throughout. Concluding with foam rolling in conjunction with a cool down can help minimise DOMS and improved flexibility and mobility.

Common areas to start foam rolling include the calves, glutes, inner thighs, outer thighs (IT band) and lats.
Ask us in our narellan gym to show you how or give it a go yourself. The after affects are what will keep you going back for more.