Rolling in the Deep

All it takes is a little piece of foam, your own body weight, and a selection of moves that deliver relief right where your body needs it most.

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You’ve seen them next to the yoga mats but you hesitate to handle it. How can a little piece of foam be so intimidating? The truth is, rolling your muscles over this cylindrical marvel can help loosen and break up the trigger points(or knots) that may be causing you post-exercise pain – Pain that you may not even know you had!

Using a foam roller regularly can offer some of the same benefits as a sports massage – without robbing your bank account! Some benefits include reduced inflammation, scar tissue, and joint stress, as well as improved circulation, flexibility, and range of motion. Guess what that means! That extra range of motion makes it easier for your body to recruit more muscle fibers, so you’ll get a more thorough workout and, therefore, will yield more results!

How to use: much like a warm up and cool down, foam rolling can be done before and immediately after a workout. There are plenty of different positions to approach when using a foam roller but you’ll want to find the ones that will best relieve your specific problem areas. If you are feeling pain in a particular muscle group I would suggest to google search “foam rolling (particular area)” if not just search “basic foam rolling exercises” and you will be bombarded with a selection of movements. For each position you will want to roll slowly back and forth as described. The roller should always stay positioned under your muscles – not your joints! Roll until you hit a tender spot(or tigger point). Once you find a spot, stop rolling and apply direct pressure on that spot for 30 seconds. This will help to break apart any knot or build up of collegian that may be causing your tight muscles.

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Foam rolling is a great technique to prevent future health issues relating to muscle pain. However, serious athletes and those who need deeper treatment, or even heavily stressed individuals, should look into seeing a massage therapist. Even just one treatment can help make you aware of your trigger points. This will guide you to find the best foam rolling positions for your own body. I personally started to see a massage therapist during my first bikini competition prep and she helped me to alleviate a lot of built up stress in my neck and helped make me aware of the tight muscles that could have hindered my progress. If you live in the St. Augustine area I definitely recommend Kristen Duke at Duprey Chiropractic on 2180 A1A south Blvd. You can check out her Facebook page and schedule your first appointment!

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