Make A Habit Of Foam Rolling
Any serious athlete understands the importance of recovery through stretching. The foam roller is a tool that all athletes can benefit from when put to proper use. Believe it or not, foam rolling dramatically speeds up restoration and recovery. For any athlete striving to reach new levels of performance, self-massaging and medicating on the foam roller every day is a necessity. A foam roller helps restore balance in your body and reduce muscle imbalances caused during sport-specific training. If you don't have a foam roller, athletes can use rolling pins and lacrosse balls to roll as well! Keep in mind that you have to Pre-Hab, so you don't end up in Re-Hab!
Try to complete these exercises in daily routine, get in the habit of taking care of yourself! Use your watch to set a timer and switch every minute. Start from the bottom of your body and work your way up!
- Calves: Go after the calf muscles, one minute per leg. If you find any deep knots, spend some a little extra time on the knot. However, be weary that there is a fine line on extra time, you don't want to injure the muscle any further. Just listen to your body and you'll be OK!
- Hamstrings: Then, roll out the hamstrings, one minute per side. * Glutes: Next, tackle each glute, one minute per side.
- Hips: Then, flip onto your side, as if you were doing a sideways plank, and go after your hips!
- Quads: After that, flip your body and lay down on it to roll out your quad muscles, one minute each side.
- IT bands: Finally, roll out each IT band, which is the side of your leg from your hip to the side of your knee. A minute doesn't sound very long until you get to this one, don't force yourself to go through excruciating pain, but work your way up on this one. It's a very important and delicate muscle, so foam rolling it is a must, even if it hurts!
While many people see the benefit of working out multiple times a week, few realize the positives of consistent stretching. Stretching is the best thing you can do for your body before and after you work out. In addition to common stretching, using a foam roller can be a great way to further loosen up your body.
The day after a workout, many people experience tightness and soreness in their muscles. For that reason, athletes will work out every other day. While recovery days can be helpful, you should work out 2-3 days in a row before taking one. Stretching can help you reach this goal by alleviating pain and tightness in your muscles. It's important to stretch hamstrings and quads, but people often overlook smaller muscle groups that can cause additional pain and discomfort. Stretching your hip flexors, calves, hips, and bands won't only make life easier, but will also make you feel strong and energetic. Often times, these are the muscles causing the nagging pain you feel after working out.
(Related: Read about the importance of resistance training here.)
Directly after stretching, you should use a foam roller to help speed up your recovery. Foam rollers come in different sizes and hardness levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. Using a foam roller can be painful, so try one of the softer rollers to start. The foam roller can be used for every muscle, but is extremely popular with runners looking to stretch that tight IT band on the outside of each leg. Additionally, it's the perfect way to alleviate pain and condition your muscles. Many people suffer from back pain and tightness, so the roller is an easy way to massage it by yourself. For aspiring athletes, it's key to stay as strong, agile, and complete as possible at all time -- don't let soreness keep you down and out!
By taking time out of your day to stretch and roll out your muscles, you'll feel better and be able to get more out of future sessions. There's a reason why coaches and personal trainers stress the importance of stretching. Try these foam rolling for a week and you'll see the drastic benefits. Foam rolling is one of the most important parts in helping your body to recover. Be diligent, put in your time, and feel the results.