Right back atcha with another follow-along functional training video. This week’s episode is FOAM ROLLING. Yes that thing that everyone tells you to do but that you never make time for. Ever take a moment and think… maybe if everyone is telling me to do it, it’s probably because it’s actually legit? Well, it is, and I’m here to help you simplify your routine! All you have to do is set the video below, press play and follow along. This will target most overactive muscles in the general population that create muscular imbalances and can lead to injury.
In short, foam rolling has a ton of benefits as I discussed in my Reducing Recovery Time article. It helps reduce soreness and recovery time, it aids in injury prevention by releasing tight muscles and correcting muscular and postural imbalances, promotes blood flow, improves mobility, and keeps your muscles and body “feeling younger.” These are all the things that you don’t think about much while you are young but when you begin to age and cannot crouch down, to tie your shoes, you immediately regret.
Enough with the threats, let’s get to the fun stuff. Foam rolling should be done pre-and post-workout. If you have to choose, always pick pre-workout, as it will get your body ready to move efficiently. You want to place the foam roller on the below body parts, roll until you find a tender spot and then hold for 30-90 seconds:
1. Calves – One of the most commonly overactive muscles. Tight calves can lead to many postural imbalances including knees caving in, feet turning out etc. Place the roller in your mid calf and roll until you find the most tender spot. Hold 30-90 seconds.
3. Front of hip/TFL – A tight TFL is a very common complication. This part of your leg (linked to your hip flexors), can become extremely bothersome and so tight that it can be very painful when overworked. Not taking care of this could have you on the bench for weeks at a time while training. Lie on your side with your body at a 45-degree angle with the roller placed right in front of your hip. Work your way through the tender spots, holding for 30-90 seconds until release. Move from the hip all the way down to the knee, always holding on to that 45-degree angle. This did WONDERS for me when I was training for my marathon.
2. Inner Thighs – Tight inner thighs can easily led to strain among many other complications. Place the foam roller as far up on your inner thigh as possible. Work your way out, holding for 30-90 seconds on the tender spots.
4. Glute/Piriformis - Although the glutes are commonly underactive, there is a muscle called the piriformis that is deep within that is commonly overactive. You target this muscle by sitting on the roller and performing a figure 4 stretch. The weight should be on the side of which the leg is lifted. Find the tender spot and hold for 30-90 seconds.
5. Lats – Tight lats can cause very limited range of motion of your upper body. If you have trouble with your arms falling forward, chances are that a good foam rolling session could really open you up – drastically and immediately improving your performance. Lie on your side and place the foam roller in your axillary region. From there, roll until you find the tenderest spot – hold the roller in place for 30-90 seconds.
6. Upper Back – To roll out your upper back, place your hands across your chest or behind your head. Lie on the foam roller around shoulder blade height and find the tender spots in your back. Hold for 30-90 seconds. Do not arch your back over the roller or bring the roller too low as to strain your back.
In order to really be killing the recovery game, I recommend foam rolling and active stretching pre-workout and static stretching post-workout. If you are interested in a follow along static stretch routine, I GOT CHU! Click the link to check out my video and get to stretching.
We only have one body. The only way that our body can perform at its best is if we take care of it and work to prevent injury and promote functional movements as we age.
For more tips like these, make sure to check out my YouTube channel and follow me on IG at @MilaMarianaa.