February 02, 2018

If there is one thing we all know, it is that time is a precious resource. Everyone wants to maximise return on the time they invest. With this in mind, I am constantly astounded by the number of people who spend hours a week training, only to neglect the most important component of progress: recovery.

One of the best ways to facilitate muscle recovery yourself is through foam rolling. Keep reading to discover what it is, why it is so important and how to do it properly.

What is foam rolling?

Foam rolling is a myofascial release technique. That is, foam rolling is a form of self- massage which helps to release adhesions in the body’s fascial meridians.

Fascia is a type of connective tissue which links every muscle, ligament, bone and organ in the body. Fascia is organised in the body through myofascial trains. The above picture shows two of these trains, the superficial front line and superficial backline.

Why should I foam roll?

Training can cause parts of the fascia to become tight and restricted. Restriction in one area of the fascia can cause pain and dysfunction at other points in the body. For example, facia restriction in the heel of the foot can cause lower back pain.

Hence, foam rolling tight areas can facilitate increased mobility and functioning of the body as a whole. It is important to foam roll regularly to ensure that your muscles don’t become too tight. Muscle tightness not only limits your range of motion during exercises such as squats, it also increases your risk of injury.

How to foam roll

The key to foam rolling properly is to roll slowly and remain as relaxed as possible. You should work on one muscle at a time and slowly roll up the muscle until you find an area which is particularly tight and painful to roll over.

Next, maintain pressure on this particular point until you feel the knot release. Be patient as some knots can take up to five minutes to release.

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