Foam rolling is used by many individuals as a form of self-massage to help relieve achy and sore muscles. Soreness in muscles can be caused from a variety of reasons from challenging workouts that engage new muscle groups to poor posture that puts extra strain on the back and neck. Health articles on fitness recommend foam roller routines as part of a healthy holistic program to aid in recovery, improve blood flow, improve range of motion and flexibility, and to alleviate chronic aches and pains. Foam rollers are easily accessible and can be purchased from many different types of retailers in addition to online stores for the convenience of home use. Here are some simple foam roller routines that you can do at home:
- Upper back foam roller routines can help alleviate tightness from poor posture or bad form from a work out including back injury rehabilitation. This exercise is performed on the floor. Lay down on your back and place your foam roller at the upper part of your back with your feet planted flat on the floor with a slight bend in the knee. Push back from the heel and allow the foam roller to roll down to the mid-section of your back. Pull back to starting position. You can hold the stretch for up to sixty seconds if needed before returning to start position. Relieving the tension in the upper back and neck can help improve posture.
- Shin pain or shin splints are common for newbie runners who try to take on too much mileage too quickly or run with bad form. Foam rolling the shins can help provide comfort and promote healing and recovery in addition to reducing the risk of sports injury. To roll the shins with a foam roller, get into a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor and your toes holding your lower half up in straight line. Bring one knee in at a time and place the foam roller at your ankle. Push your knee outwards and allow the form roller to roll up the shin to just before the knee and then roll back to starting position. Switch sides and foam roll the other shin of the opposite leg.
- Glutes are a difficult muscle to stretch and can get very sore when doing a lot of lower body resistance training such as squats and lunges. Foam rolling can help release the fascia and aid the body in ridding the lactic acid build up that is causing the soreness. To do this massage with a foam roller, sit on the foam roller and roll forward and back slowly from the top of your hamstrings to the lower back. Your legs should not be stiff and have a slight bend that aids in stability during this exercise.
A certified wellness consultant or any coach with a certified personal trainer certificate can help demonstrate how to use a foam roller. Foam rolling is active recovery and a form of self-care that anyone from any level of fitness can benefit from. Improve your recovery times and train harder with foam roller routines.