It blows my mind how many athletes don’t own a foam roller. Not owning a foam roller is like being a chef without any way to clean your tools. What that means is that kitchen tools will work well the first time but will go down in quality pretty much everytime from there. Sad news for you, your muscles are tools for you as an athlete, and they will work that same way. Muscles, chef tools all need maintenance to keep moving forward. Your foam roller is your tool to help you do that.
Don’t Say You’re Too Busy
A lot of athletes try and say that they are too busy and I call BS a million times over. The reason is that taking care of your body is just as important as training hard. Training breaks your body down and recovery methods like eating properly, sleeping and treating help to build it back up.
If you’re not taking time to do the recovery side of things, you will be like a water bottle with a hole in it. It is just a matter of time before you are on empty.
Empty means you are either injured or burnt out from overtraining, and neither of those things is good. The problem with both of them is that they take time off to recover from and that means that you are not getting better.
Netflix and Foam Roll
You read that right before you Netflix and chill make sure you get on that foam roller and handle your business before you handle your business 😉
I am serious though Netflix presents an excellent opportunity to foam roll. You’re most likely going to spend some portion of your day on entertainment watching some screen. When you do this, foam roll.
I have seen many people implement this routine correctly. Don’t just watch TV and be a zombie. Watch TV and get the most out of your time by knocking out your foam rolling as well.
What Do You Foam Roll?
Foam roll everything from your head to your toe. Here is why the whole body is connected. If your foot hurts, you better believe that it could also be making your calf and hamstrings tight. If your hips are locked up, it may also be causing your back issues.
Foam rolling is a cheap way to replicate getting manual therapy from a massage therapist or chiropractor. It can never replace it completely but it does help a great deal. A lot of manual therapy works out knots through various forms of compression and scrapping while also moving limbs to help lengthen and shorten structures under tension.
As an athlete foam rolling helps you to keep your soft tissue structures health and it can be done all alone without the help of anyone else.
How to Foam Roll Properly
The key to foam rolling is to move over your muscles slowly. If you go quickly and rush, you will miss tender spots. By moving slowly, it gives you the chance to catch problem areas and move them multiple times. You want to just sit on sore spots without moving, and you will begin to feel the tension dissipate.
Let’s use the quad as an example. If the quad has a tender spot low and on the outside by the knee, you want to sit on that spot for 30 – 60 seconds. Then you want to flex and relax your quad to help the foam roller sink in deeper. Lastly, you want to bring your heel to your butt to lengthen the quad muscle.
You want to repeat this on every muscle you foam roll. The goal is to finish once you have found every single tender spot. Doing this daily will help you be able to see a therapist less. You cant be the type of athlete that does not foam roll and does not see a therapist because you are only begging for an injury.
If you need to know what foam roller to use just click here. If you have any specific injury questions, you need to ask, click here. You want to make sure you are attacking your foam rolling daily. If you slack in this area, you will notice a decrease in the quality of tissue you have.
The best athletes understand that longevity counts. There is no point in training hard if you can’t finish the season because of that chronic knee pain. Every day provides you with an opportunity to get your body healthy again. Don’t waste that opportunity.