Personal Trainer Felicia Taub Takes Us “Rolling with Her Foamies” for this #fitnessfriday
We’ve all heard of it. Whether from friends or trainers or fitness instructors but what is it? Foam rolling; also known as self-myofascial release which is just a fancier term for self massage to release tightness or trigger points in the muscle. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to help in the recovery of muscles and bringing them back to normal functionality. What’s normal? Normal is your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform when they’re called upon. (in other words, get rid of the stiffness).
I mentioned trigger points before. So what’s a trigger point? We call them “knots”. You’ll know them most from the pain associated that radiates from them and also when pressure is applied to them to release the know. Which is exactly why we foam roll. Now this is a love hate relationship. I know the benefits of foam rolling but OMG does it hurt. Think about it. We are voluntary hitting the areas that hurt most with these knots and trying to release them out.
But is it good for you? Is it worth it? Definitely! Foam rolling releases trigger points (knots) and that helps bring back proper movement and more importantly, pain free movement. Foam rolling helps break up the knots, bringing back better blood flow and mobility. The idea is to get you back to as close as can be to your factory settings. So what causes these knots? Our bodies learn to compensate for what we take them through every day. But that doesn’t mean our bodies don’t need a break. We have to give them time to recover from too many intense workouts, poor posture and generally any other life factors.
To foam roll properly, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your bodyweight. You should roll slowly, no more than one inch per second. When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds and relax as much as possible. You should slowly start to feel the muscle releasing, and after 5-30 seconds the discomfort or pain should lessen.
If an area is too painful to apply direct pressure, shift the roller and apply pressure on the surrounding area and gradually work to loosen the entire area. The goal is to restore healthy muscles – it is not a pain tolerance test. You may also use other objects to work on muscles such as a tennis ball or a lacrosse or squash ball.
Never roll a joint or bone. Avoid rolling your lower back. To target these muscles I recommend using tennis or lacrosse balls. If you are having issues with your neck, refer these issues to an appropriate medical professional, as these areas they can be more sensitive and require more advanced attention.
In the pictures I’m demonstrating to really important areas to foam roll. Your hip flexors and your
IT band. Definitely the most common areas that we all need to work on. Have an incredible weekend and Happy rolling.
Matthew & Felicia Taub