It may not be the most enjoyable part of your workout, but paying attention to your muscles after exercise is an essential part of recovery. Whilst sports massages are beneficial, they can also prove costly if booked on a regular basis. This is where equipment such as a foam roller or massage ball can help – once you understand how best to use them, this then allows for a form of self-massage at a much lower cost. We asked CocoPro ambassador and movement coach Harvey Lawton to explain the benefits and method for maximum results.
Does foam rolling increase mobility and/or flexibility? No.
However – there are a whole host of benefits to foam rolling that, when supplemented into regular routine can play a pivotal role in performance. The main principle of foam rolling, shown by all research, is based around increasing the blood flow. This in turn can:
- Aid muscle recovery
- Reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Aid the breakdown of scar tissue (through trigger points)
These factors can help with improving muscle function and go hand in hand with helping reduce the risk of injury. The premise of foam rolling can be seen as ‘self-massage’. The improved blood flow and pressure on certain parts of the anatomy (trigger points) when released will help the muscle fibres lengthen and shorten with greater efficiency.
How often should you foam roll?
Foam rolling can be done as much as you desire. It isn’t a quick mobility fix but reaps a whole host of other benefits as detailed above. Research states the optimal length of time to spend on each body part is around the 2 minute mark. Personally, I aim to spend around 10 minutes per day on self-massage.
Trigger Point Balls
The surface area of the foam roller can determine how much pressure is put on the body part. The smaller the surface area of the roller, the more direct the pressure is on the body part. Trigger point balls are a great way of simulating a more invasive or direct approach. Nowadays all sorts of tools can be found to elicit these requirements.
Which areas of the body should I foam roll?
Prioritise prime movers of the body, therefore tissue around the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. These key structures are best targeted – and the muscles around them – since they are loaded a great deal of time. Injuries are also prone to happening around these areas since joint actions require the most movement.
Directions for how to foam roll:
- When foam rolling, make sure you lengthen and shorten the muscle
- Spend up to 2 minutes on one muscle group
- Pause on sore spots and wait till the pain dies down. This is known as desensitising.
How often and why should you foam roll?🤷🏽♀️ we asked CocoPro ambassador @harvey.movement for some tips..✖️It isn’t a quick mobility fix and simply rolling over your muscles will have no effect on muscle fibre length.✔️It does however promote blood flow to an area, with the ability to desensitise pain – spend sufficient time on each body part (we’re talking around 2 minutes!) and pause on it over sore spots. A foam roller is just one aspect of mobility..move your joints and muscles more to perform better👊#mobilitymonday #harveymovement #foamrolling
Posted by CocoPro on Monday, 18 June 2018