Foam Rolling Basics: Upper Body

Soothe those muscles with foam rolling.

foam roller at home

Foam rollers are becoming more widely utilized to prepare muscles for workouts and treat muscle and joint pain. Living a healthy lifestyle that involves resistance training, cardio training such as cycling or running, and even body weight exercises, can cause strain to our bodies. Traditional stretching is helpful, but it’s difficult to target deep tissue without a foreign object. Foam rolling provides a more beneficial warm up to help our muscles work harder and provide a better cool down to transition our muscles into a rest state.

Instead of paying for massages weekly, foam rollers provide the same relief all in the comfort of your home. There are two types of rollers; the traditional one has a smooth surface, and focuses on the top layer of skin and muscles. If you’re looking for a stronger warm followed by a better relaxer, textured rollers have ridges and components which cause different muscle responses on impact. Just like with training, diversity promotes growth for muscles. In the case of foam rollers, diversity promotes stronger preparation.

Don’t have a roller yet? The EPE Foam Roller is the perfect smooth roller. If you’re looking for  deeper tissue work, the ProSource Medicine Rollerprovides various textures to hit muscles.

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.

Target Areas:

1. Bicep and Tricep – Most exercises involve using your arms for a push or pull movement. Foam rolling these muscles allow them to cool down and assist in more full range motion once you’re engaged in the act.

2. Chest – If you’re planning to do some chest exercises, usage of  a foam roller can really help loosen the muscle. Our pectorals are a large muscle group and standard stretching my not hit all the areas you may need. The roller can loosen and relax this large muscle.

3. Back – Back pain is common among many people. Poor muscle alignment, sitting in chairs improperly or bad sleeping can all lead to regular back issues. The use of a foam roller can target, upper back, spinal and most importantly lower back pain.

4. Neck – Our necks are a pain prone area. Excessive screens and monitors cause us to have our necks looking down mostly, causing tension in the back of our necks. Even poor sleeping can lead to a stiff neck. Foam rolling can get all the kinks out of all sides of your neck.

5. Abs – If you’ve done a fats paced ab routine, you know how quick that burn comes. Warming up with the foam roller will hold that burn off for a bit longer so you can get those extra crunches in! Don’t forget the obliques!

Biceps & Triceps





Sources: Equinox

Now that you’ve warmed up, try some of our favorite challenges:
30 Day Beginner’s Running Challenge
7-Day Fat Burning Challenge
Awesome Abs Challenge

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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