A Cambridge personal training post by Callie Durbrow
You’ve probably seen the foam roller. The 3-4 foot tall cylinder that might be lying around at the gym or maybe you’ve done some physical therapy and you had to use one.
If you’ve used it, you know it can be kinda painful but everyone tells you that it’s good for you. What does it do exactly?
I know you probably don’t care about the exact science of it, you just kinda want to know “Is it doing anything for me?”
So here’s the thing about the foam roller. Everyone tells you that you should “stretch” and work on your flexibility if you want to get in better shape. That’s kind of true. Instead of being super flexible, you should be mobile. Basically you want to be able to move better. The better that you can move, the better your training sessions will be and the better your results will be.
So when we talk about mobility, we want to focus on your muscles, joints and tendons. Everything has to work together, so a lot of static stretching especially before your workout won’t do very much for you.
Instead, use the quick warm up cycle that I showed you in day #4…..simple dynamic warm up
You’ll also want to add in a foam rolling circuit. I’ll show you a video about that in a second. The foam roller is going to do what we call Self Myofascial Release. This is basically breaking down any knots in the muscles and creating space around the fascia, which is the “pockets” that encase the muscle fibers. When the space is created, your muscles feel relaxed and loose. This is a great way to warm up and prep for an awesome workout!
You can get a foam roller at any sporting goods store, the best ones are the thicker black material, they won’t get all squished when you use them a lot. The other thing that’s really brutal but works great is to get a 3 foot long PVC pipe from Home Depot (the thick pvc) and use that as your roller. It’s super hard so use that after you’ve done some work on the regular roller.
Check out this video below and get started right away…..
I’ll talk with you tomorrow for Day #11 where I’ll give you some cool tips on how to balance life, fitness and fun.