How to Use a Foam Roller for Stretching
Using a foam roller is very important. It is one of the things besides stretching that you can do at home. You can really enhance your health and enhance your body. Now, one of the things that’s used heavily in the Sixers‘ locker room is foam rollers. And the foam rollers are fantastic for helping to get increased blood into the muscles, loosening up tendons, ligaments. So it’s tremendous for just going in and loosening things up.
Common Foam Roller Techniques
So we’re going to have Jane and Dr. Gene show some of the most common, not really stretches, but exercises to do on this foam roller. So Jane’s demonstrating here a calf foam roller. And what she’s doing, basically the way the foam roller works is you want to push the muscle using gravity onto the foam roller. Therefore you’ll let the foam roller do the work. So for someone that’s maybe a little bit tighter, maybe wouldn’t push up so high with your arms. But here you can see that gravity is using. Or she’s using gravity to dig into the foam roller and she’s working her calves here and hamstrings.
Yeah, now she’s going lateral onto like the IT band. And what’s important is you have to do both body parts. So say you have an injured area. You don’t only want to do the one injured side. You want to go onto both sides.
Right. So you want to balance and I would say about a minute or so per body part. That would be pretty good. And one thing. You don’t really need to get. One of the reason we’re not breaking this up by body part. You don’t really need a routine or a follow along. Don’t make it complicated. Just lay your body in the foam roller and roll around. Feel for some trigger points and just keep moving. Some people like stopping if you’ve hit a trigger point. You can do that. Or you can just roll through it. It shouldn’t be anything super complicated.
It Should Feel Good
As you roll on it, it ought to feel good! This is something that is not only even before you exercise. It’s fantastic because you help bring blood into the area. But it’s something that’s great after you exercise. Because it helps cool the muscle down and relax the area.
Actually, the Sixers started using this for recovery after the games. Yeah, it’s actually used before and after the game when we’re in the locker room. So it’s actually on both.
So here we’re doing the forearms. There’s really, you could basically do every major muscle group on here. Also, when you talk about self mobilization and working into the muscles. A lot of people will use a lacrosse ball and actually, in the shoulder muscles and lie and roll a lacrosse ball around the shoulder joints at different areas. Which also works well.
Foam Roller Demonstration
So let me demonstrate here. She’s working on her lat and triceps. If she wanted to get a little bit of a deeper workout, what she could do is extend your legs and get your hips up off the ground. And now there’s actually a lot more weight on that triceps and lat area. So that’s how you’d to go deeper. And now if you’re just starting, you can keep the hips down and just gently roll along. Therefore this is both a stretching and a fascia mobilization. The fascia is like the inner lining of the muscle. And it’s also, if you build up lactic acid after a workout. It’s going to help move some of that along with the lymph and circulation.
But again, don’t get too caught up in: “What should I do first”? “What should I do second?” Have one of these by your TV. And hit it during a commercial here and there. Just roll out. Just use it as a relaxation for the muscles.
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