Wellness Spotlight: Foam Rolling
Do you know what a sweeping majority of women chose as their 2018 New Year’s Resolutions? To eat better and exercise more.
We’re not surprised. The importance of taking care of oneself is getting increasingly more attention, and we couldn’t be happier! It’s about time.
These days, there are so many ways to get a great workout in: from hiking, to barre, to yoga, to pilates and running. With today’s endless options there is no excuse. But, what’s the one thing that is guaranteed to follow a workout? Soreness. We spend so much time and energy on the workout itself that we tend to forget the super important post-workout release. This is where our new favorite post-workout technique comes in.
Ever heard of self-myofascial release? Self-myofascial release (or simply SMR) is a stretching technique that has taken the fitness industry by storm. It’s basically a fancy term for self-massage. What’s so great about this technique is that it is simple and effective with one really cool and versatile tool: the foam roller.
What is a foam roller?
It’s a handy exercise device that anyone can use to help soothe tight, sore areas and relieve muscle tension all over the body. There are many types of foam rollers you can buy: textured, hard, soft, and some even have built-in vibration technology if you’re feelin’ fancy. Don’t fret though. If you get a basic foam roller, you are good to go!
So, how does SMR work?
After you’re finished with your workout, grab your trusty foam roller and find a nice floor to roll around on. Slowly roll over various areas of your body to break up scar tissue and help speed up the healing and recovering process so your body is ready for your next workout. This is basically a more affordable way to give yourself a deep tissue massage. I KNOW, right?
Here are some other ways to use a foam roller:
- Work out those knots in your upper back by placing the roller under your shoulder blades and cross your arms over your chest. Lift your hips off the floor and apply pressure on the tight area. Hold this for 1 minute.
- Plank or Push-up
- Forget that tired old floor - it is proven that exercising on an unstable surface engages core muscles more. Balance your feet on the foam roller and hold a plank for 1 minute or do two sets of 5 pushups.
- Bring your roller to your Saturday yoga class and incorporate it into your yoga poses to help with your balance. After class, you can use it to help relieve the tension in your arms or legs.
- Crack Your Back (Safely!)
- We’ve all been there. Most of us have probably cracked our back in more unsafe than safe ways. Place your foam roller on the floor and sit in front of it with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Gently lie back and slowly roll your body over the foam roller. Be extremely cautious and gentle when you are doing this and stop immediately if you feel any discomfort or pain!
Now that we have enlightened you with our new fav workout accessory, you must try this fun alternative to those boring post-workout stretches. Clearly, there are so many ways to use a foam roller, and you know how much we love versatile things :)
Try it for yourself and share it with a friend! Let us know in the comments below which techniques you used and liked.