WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING A FOAM ROLLER
Foam rollers are an essential tool for rolling out muscle knots and trigger points that can be caused by muscle imbalance, overuse or injuries during training or competition. Think of this as your own self massaging tool, but don’t be surprised if you form a love hate relationship with your foam roller. The process of rolling out your knots can be quite uncomfortable but the impacts are worth it. Expect to see great results such as increasing your range of movement and decreasing recovery time after a hard workout. Using a foam roller is a much cheaper and simpler option then seeking a professional sports massage and can be incorporated into your workout routine in just 10-15 minutes.
• Alleviates soreness of the muscles
• Reduces inflammation that occurs during the muscle healing process
• Promotes muscle repair recovery
• Remedies tension and tightness to prevent injury
• Increases blood flow and muscle elasticity for optimum mobility and flexibility
Professional athletes roll out their muscles immediately before or after every training session. However foam rolling is by no means reserved for the professionals. There are huge benefits to reap whether you are a beginner or advanced boxer. When using the foam roller before your workout, you will loosen up the muscles and achieve more efficient movement for throughout the workout. When using the foam roller after your workout, the focus is more on reducing the potential of muscle soreness to keep you in great form and ready to go again and again.
If you are new to foam rolling it’s a good idea to start off gentle and work your way up as you learn how to use the foam roller effectively. You want to achieve an “it hurts so good” level but not unbearable pain. Start by sourcing the pain point or area of tightness and control your body so that the spot is gently under the middle of the foam roller. Lower yourself slowly onto the foam roller until you reach a point where you can feel the muscle engaged (but not pain) and hold it for 20-30 seconds. The pressure alone provides great benefits but if you want to further stimulate the area you can roll back and forth over the spot. Continue to roll and hold in areas that need extra attention.
Pro-tip: Treat your body in sections rather than continually rolling back and forth. Stop in places that feel tender, take an inhale and slowly exhale as you roll down the muscle. If the pain is too much, ease off, otherwise continue rolling back and forth until you feel it soften or release.
• Upper back
• Hip flexors