Foam rolling is all the rage these days. The wellness industry is marketing foam rolling all over the place, but this therapeutic technique is more than just a fitness trend or some kind of pool noodle. This self-care technique has great benefits when used correctly.  So, whether you're new to foam rolling or trying to figure out why people volunteer to torture themselves, this blog will hopefully help inform you on your rollin' journey.


The Breakdown: 

     Foam rolling (otherwise known as self-myofascial release [SMR]) is a form of self-massage, but let me tell you it's not the most peaceful experience. Our complicated bodies are made up of trigger points (a sore, tender spot deep within the muscle fiber.) These spots can feel like "knots" that are caused through overuse, injury, poor posture & various other lifestyle factors. When you perform the average stretch, these "knots" are not affected & prevent us from lengthening our muscles to their full potential, interrupting our quality of movement.  Once we release these annoying spots of tension we allow the muscle to return to its healthy relaxed state.


KEEPING YOUR BODY MOBILE IS IMPORTANT!


Terms you should know:

Myofascial release - "is a manipulative treatment that attempts to release tension in the fascia due to trauma, posture, or inflammation. Connective tissues called fascia surround the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs of the body. Points of restriction in the fascia can place a great deal of pressure on nerves and muscles causing chronic pain." ( myofascialrelease.com )
"Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater." ( www.myofascialrelease.com )

YAY for anatomy. 

 

Benefits:

  • Return/increase blood flow throughout the body
  • Reduce soreness/decrease recovery time 
  • Help prevent injury
  • Reduce pain
  • May help correct muscle imbalances
  • Improve range of motion (ROM)
  • Decrease inflammation within the body
  • Improve performance 
  • Improves Neuromuscular efficiency

 

 

FOAM ROLLING GUIDE:

Treat your body like a temple. Be sure to ask your physician/physical therapist etc..before implementing foam rolling into your routine. If given the go ahead, inform yourself of the correct techniques to prevent injury?

 

What foam roller should I start with?

Foam rollers come in various density, colors, sizes & textures. Beginners: Start with a roller that has a smooth surface with a less dense/ soft density. Then over time progress the density after you gain more experience. Always ask questions if you're unsure. Be sure to research different brands & explore reviews online/in store! 


When should I foam roll?

Pre-workout, you can foam roll along with dynamic stretching & plenty of water. Post-workout followed by static stretching (stay hydrated!)


How do I foam roll?

"To foam roll properly, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your body weight. 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." (breakingmuscle.com)


How to prevent injury?

Do not foam roll too hard. It can irritate the muscle. FYI - you may end up with some lovely bruising (not fun.) Especially if you have a pre-existing injury. Be sure to ask yourself if it's appropriate to roll, there is always the chance of re-injuring your sore self. Stay away from joints & bones.  Always remember to listen to your body. Don't rush the process of foam rolling & slow down. Skip rolling the lower back. If you ever feel intense pain or soreness be sure to consult a physician. Body awareness is key!! 


How many times should I foam roll?

Foam rolling is great for everyday use. Implementing it into your daily routine is a great way to reap the benefits & practice self care. Again, body awareness & consult a professional. 

 

Recommendations/Resources:

Take a class at your local gym, online or buy a DVD to learn technique.

Different roller brands:

Check out Dick's Sporting Goods. Whole foods. Department stores. Amazon.

 

This technique hurts like hell, but you'll be running back for more.

One of the things we love to hate is foam rolling.

 

They see me rollin' 

They hatin'

 

 

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Hope this guide helps you on your self care journey.

With a humble heart,

Caroline Jane

 

 

**The Winner of Mind Maintenance 30 Day Meditation Journey was picked at random.

Drum roll please....

Diane Balsley

I will be emailing you to gather info to send you a gift to help kick start your meditation. Be on the look out!

I hope everyone who participated in this adventure found their quiet space & will continue meditating into February.

Stay tuned for more content my loves & exciting adventures to come. 

I'm grateful for our growing community.  

-caroline xo

 

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