These Foam Roller Exercise are perfect to incorporate in your dynamic warm up or cool down. Learn the benefits of using the foam roller and how to do each exercise, in the latest installment of this month’s Inspired To Be Fit.
6 Foam Roller Exercises for Your Next Warm Up or Cool Down
Good Morning and Happy Monday!
Welcome to another edition of Inspired To Be Fit ! For the month of March, we are talking all things Warm-Up & Cool Down. Last week, we discussed Cool Downs – should you cool down or not? Hint: answer is ideally, yes. The week before we went over warm ups and warm-up exercises. If you remember, I briefly touched on Myofasical Release and today we are going to dig deeper.
I always say, the foam roller hurts so good. Because, it really does hurt, but only to make your muscles feel so goooooood.
So, self myofascial release (MRF / SMR) is essentially a deep issue massage. By applying gentle pressure, with a foam roller or lacrosse/tennis ball, knots within in the muscle are broken up and unwanted muscle tension relieved.
Let’s look at the science behind this. Get ready for some personal training talk:
At the point where the muscle fibers insert into the tendons of the muscle, there are special sensory receptors called Golgi Tendon Organs, responsible for sensing change in muscle tension and the rate of that change. When I was studying for my CPT exam, for some reason, it took me forever to get the definition for this. I blame it on the fact that there were so many words and concepts to remember. Anyway, the GTO, when activated, causes the muscle to relax, prevent it from excessive stress or the possibility of injury.
[bctt tweet=”Golgi Tendon Organ and Muscle Spindles. Talking SMR #ontheblog today! #foamroller #fitfluential @fitfluential”]
There are also sensory receptors within muscles, running parallel to the muscle fibers, that are responsible for sensing changing in muscle length and the rate of that change.
Ideally, we want the GTO to take over and allow muscles to relax. The fancy term for this is called autogenic inhibition: the process in which the impulses that sense tension is greater than the impulses that cause the muscle to contract, providing an inhibitory effect to the muscle spindles. This takes at least 30 – 90 seconds for this to happen.
When using the foam roller or lacrosse/tennis ball, it’s important to roll, slowly, up and down the muscle, stopping at a tender spot and holding at least 30 seconds. Now, fair warning, it will likely hurt. Just remember:
- BREATHE!! It’s really easy to hold your breath and
thinkshout profanities. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
- It will make your muscles feel much better. Not right away, but it will.
Some of the benefits of myofascial release include:
- reducing muscle soreness
- promoting improved tissue recovery
- improving neuromuscular efficiency
- decreasing effects of stress on the movement system
- reduction of trigger point sensitivity and pain
- improving joint range of motion
Now that you are dying to try foam rolling, what kind of foam roll should you get? I tend to recommend a less expensive version to clients that are just starting out foam rolling. The rollers come in varying densities and lengths. TJ Maxx usually has them for $20 or so. Try starting here. If you are ready for something more, I recommend Trigger Point Performance. They are an awesome company that is all about making sure muscles are working properly. Check out their site for all kinds of helpful info and videos. No affiliate, just love the company.
I have the GRID Foam Roller and I love to hate it. Now that I’m training for a half marathon…oh, did I tell you? I’m training for a half marathon in May with my papa! Woo! …Now that I’m training for a half marathon, I’m using this as often as I can, along with my Massage Ball errrday (Amazon affiliate links).
- Foam Roller
Move through each muscle group, rolling about 30 seconds, focusing on any knots for at least 30 seconds.
When you find a knot, say on the calf, you can circle your ankle and move your leg back and forth (check this out in the video). Ben and stretch and wiggle through the muscle, if needed.
[bctt tweet=”Can’t wait to try these new form roller moves! #foamroll #hurtsogood @fitapproach #sweatpink”]
Don’t forget to add your fitness related posts to the link-up below! While we know nutrition plays a huge role in fitness and overall healthy living, Jill and I would like ITBF to focus totally on the fitness aspect of healthy living. We’d like this to be a go-to resource for workouts and fitness information, motivation and support. If you have a delicious recipe to share (and we know many of you do), come back on Friday and link-up with Living a Life of Fitness Health & Happiness.
[bctt tweet=”Join the party! Add your fitness posts to Inspired To Be Fit Link-up! @jillconyers @fitapproach #sweatpink”]
Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday!
Don’t forget to check out Jill’s workout!
How did your weekend go? I was well for most of the weekend, which was good! Friday, my allergies were acting cra, so I took a half day, working on client stuff and blog things. I made The Hubs pick dinner and we ended up with Chinese…because he can cook maybe 3 things!
I met with a potential new client on Saturday morning, followed by back to back classes and a trip to the grocery store, before heading home. Ya’ll it was a long morning. And my second class was a sub for a pilates class. I’ve never taken a pilates class, so my boss switched it to one of my usual classes. The ladies that normally take the pilates class were NOT happy about me subbing, but I shook it off and made it work!
I taught my last class at the local gym on Sunday, went on a super long walk, went to church and watched Ant Man with The Hubs. Also, all my morning clients either wanted to switch their session or had to reschedule. So, Monday morning is a sleep in-ish (6:00am) morning and Tuesday turns into the long day!
So, tell me:
Are you a foam roller fan?
Does it hurt or bring relief??
What did you do this weekend?!
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