Living an active lifestyle requires an important balance of hard work, prep, and recovery. Most people use traditional stretches to warm up and cool down, but having a foam roller will help to prepare your muscles more effectively. Foam rolling provides a more beneficial warm up to help our muscles work harder and provide a better cool down to transition our muscles to a more relaxed state.
There are two types of rollers you can use; a smooth surfaced roller and a textured roller which both has ridges and altering surfaces. The smooth surfaced roller is great for light warm up and cool down, whereas the textured roller is more beneficial in reaching deeper into tissues and joints. Just like with training, diversity promotes growth for muscles. In the case of foam rollers, diversity promotes stronger preparation.
Equipment Needed: Timer(Gymboss is a free app)
What to Do: Focus on each area for 2 minutes. The harder you press against the roller the more tension you will release from your muscles and joints. Initially your muscles may be tender to the pressure so be patient as you roll. Adjust your speed as you roll. Pre-workouts need faster movements while post-workout rolling should be slow. You can do these as often as you workout during the week.
Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes – Most leg and butt workouts require heavier weights to get results since these muscles are larger. Warming them up with a foam roller is one of the best ways to hit all parts of these muscles and get them ready for the heavy muscle load. Once you’re done, using the foam roller as a cool down will help rest your muscle quicker so you can walk after your workout.
Knee – If you’re doing any lower body exercises, your knees are going to be an important factor. Strong and relaxed knees will help with the motion in squats and lunged. Hitting the muscles around the knees will help loosen the tissue and prepare it for fluid movements.
Shins – If you’re a runner, you’ll know how uncomfortable shin splits can be. Your leg muscles relaxed can be and your hearts and lungs strong but shin splints can put a premature end to a run. Using a foam roller is one of the most effective ways to help prevent and get rid off shin splints.