Trifocus Foam Rolling

The Miracles of Foam Rolling

A foam roller hardly looks like a “miraculous tool of wellness”. But ask doctors and experts, and they’ll tell you that we should all be doing foam rolling – every day. “Have you ever had those days where you feel like your knee is feeling a little sore, but you don’t remember hurting it while you were training?” asks Kayla Itsines? “Sometimes things like training and bad posture can cause your muscles and their surrounding fibers to become thicker and tighter, which cause tension and sometimes pain in your body”, she says. The solution? Foam rolling!

Foam rolling advantages and tips

Foam rolling gives you a deep tissue massage that reduces inflammation and joint stress

The kind of massage you get with a foam roller is termed myofascial release:

  • Fascia is the tissue that covers every muscle, organ and nerve (think about the shrink wrap covering stationery), keeping everything together. When you train, the fascia in your body can become tight, or can sustain micro tears. If you don’t release the tightness (or heal the tears), your muscle/joint mobility will be compromised. This not only affects your performance but it could invite futher (more serious) injuries.
  • Myofascial release is when these fascia are massaged and they soften and “release” the tension, restoring mobility, encouraging healing. This sort of deep tissue massage is ideal for managing inflammation and joint pain.
  • During foam rolling, you put targeted pressure on your fascia which releases your pressure points and reduces pain associated with, for example, shin splints.

Foam rolling promotes healthy circulation

The massage you get when you use a foam roller improves your circulation. In part, this is because the myofascial release you get with the roller releases the areas where tightness has restricted your blood flow.
And as you probably know, blood is the conduit by which oxygen and nutrients are transported throughout your body. It also facilitates the removal of toxins and other by-products from your bloodstream. So having a healthy circulation is critical for overall good health.

Foam rolling accelerates your post-workout recovery

All of this – the improved mobility and the improved circulation – means that when you use a foam roller, you recover quicker from a tough workout. After all, it treats the inflammation and any aches, and also promotes the flow of blood to tired muscles. In fact, many of the foam roller’s proponents will tell you that using a foam roller for just 10 minutes before a workout (to loosen up major muscles and joints) primes you for a more effective workout too.

Foam rolling improves your flexibility

When your muscles, soft tissue and joints are not tight or sore, you enjoy a greater range of motion. And greater flexibility too. This, in turn, means you can work harder, with a lesser risk of injury.

You don’t need any more reasons to invest in a foam roller, and get rolling! But there is one caveat: Do it wrong, and you could cause the injuries you’d like to avoid! Do your homework first. Investigate which roller movements, stretches and techniques are best for your body so you can get the most out of this incredible tool.

Foam Rolling Mistakes To Avoid

Roll Directly Where You Feel Pain

When we feel pain or suffer from a muscle injury, our first reaction is to massage the spot directly. However, this can be a big mistake.  The usual rule is to go indirect before direct. If you are able to pin point the spot that’s sensitive, it’s usually beneficial to ease away from that area by a few inches. Take your time to discover the entire area that is sensitive before you start using large, deep, sweeping motions.

You Roll Too Fast

Rolling too quickly is a bad idea and you should definitely avoid it. Rather use slow, concentrated movements on the roller. If your movements are too fast, the muscles won’t have time to absorb the roller and they won’t have time to adapt to, and deal with, the compression. You also won’t eliminate adhesions. (Click here to find out what expert personal trainer, Rob Wilson, has to say about muscle adhesions.)

You Spend Too Much Time on The Knots

If you keep a level of sustained pressure on one body part, you could easily hit a nerve or even damage the tissue. Many people will say that if you find or feel a knot, you should spend time working on it with the foam roller. However, a lot of people will spend five or even 10 minutes or more on the same area and they also try to use their whole body weight on the foam roller. As mentioned above, if you place a lot of weight on one spot for a sustained period time, you are rather likely to hit a nerve or damage tissue.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

Using a foam roller is a must-add to any workout. Consider taking on the online foam rolling course to learn how to incorporate foam rolling properly in your training programs. If you want to go big; on the Personal Training Diploma, you’ll learn all that you need to in order to become a world-class personal trainer and instruct your clients in developing the workouts that are best for them.

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