Foam Roller Mistake! (Watch BEFORE You Foam Roll)
6 Foam Roller Mistakes You're Making
Sonia Pasquale, DC, a chiropractor, sports physician, and movement specialist, says she often sees clients who simply use a foam roller because someone told them they should, and they just roll back and forth willy-nilly. "Foam rolling has many benefits when it's performed with intention," says Pasquale. "Ideally, your foam rolling session should be geared toward muscles that are restricting movement, and you'll know you're targeting the right spots if you feel a difference in your range of motion in those areas after your rolling session." Elwood agrees: "Having a game plan can help you maximize your time spent foam rolling, ultimately helping you hit both your movement goals and reducing the amount of time you'll waste focusing on areas that don't matter," he says. Talk to a personal trainer, physical therapist, sports chiropractor, or another bodywork expert to get a foam rolling plan if you're unsure.
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A common mistake people make is assuming that foam rolling should only be done after activity to support recovery, says Pasquale. However, while it can be used this way, foam rolling can also be donebeforeyou exercise. "Foam rolling is a great way to wake up your body, get your blood moving, and prepare muscles to move so that you prevent injury," she says.
Here's the truth: Foam rolling can be uncomfortable.Reallyuncomfortable. That's because it can be similar to a type of manual therapy called "trigger point release," in which a therapist will press firmly on muscle trigger points (aka "knots") until the tension dissipates, says Elwood. "The mistake I see so many people make is that they don't dig in when the foam roller goes over an area that creates intense sensation," he says. "Remind yourself that the feeling is likely intense because the tissue is knotted up and hypersensitive as a result." An important distinction: It's not a good idea to foam roll over a super-sensitive spot to the point of pain. However, easing in to those tight spots will loosen them over time, and you may be in for a grimace or two as you work these tight spots.
Muscular release only really happens if the right amount of time is spent kneading into the problem tissue, says Elwood. "Sweeping over a tender area too quickly and then moving on to another area may seem efficient, but it is more likely that you're not actually getting anything substantial done." Instead, when you find a tender spot, stay there for 1 to 2 minutes, he says. "Trigger point release takes in the ballpark of 90 seconds to be effective," he says, "and sometimes it takes multiple attempts to get the muscles to fully relax."
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To keep your muscles supple and free from tension so that your joints can move through their natural range of motion, myofascial release is crucial—and foam rolling is an excellent way to do it, says Dave Kyle, a personal trainer and fitness instructor for Les Mills United States. "Myofascial release keeps muscles in good condition by improving blood flow through the tissue and delivering nutrients to the muscles more efficiently," says Kyle. Which means it can actually help prevent soreness from happening in the first place.
Video: How To Foam Roll PROPERLY (AVOID THESE MISTAKES) | MIND PUMP
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