These are the foam roller techniques Personal trainers should be doing to improve their clients training and life performance.
My Relationship with the Foam Roller..
I remember seeing the first foam roller. It was a long time ago, and I was super excited to try it out and see what the fuss was all about!
Since that day I have used the foam roller in so many different ways.
Initially, I used the foam roller to massage sore areas. I would spend hours foam rolling where ever I had worked that day..
Next i took it to the extreme like most things i do thinking “more is better”!!
I would lie in all sorts of strange positions using all sorts of kinky looking tools, It would hurt immensely like 10 out of 10 pain but unfortunately it really didn’t improve my performance or recovery.
What followed was the decision to not use the foam roller at all, I was over it! It wasn’t helping so I would just skip the foam roller and get straight into my training.
Now many years on I have learnt how to effectively and efficiently use the foam roller..
“Better Is Better”
What we need to do first is concentrate on the specific area and technique that is going to get us prepared for our workouts.
There is a couple of things to consider.
1. Chill out and Breath… This is the gateway or transition from the outside world of stress and chaos into the gym / the time for you to relax your mind and prepare your body.. Breath in through the nose out through the mouth.. Take your self into a slightly relaxed state and start mentally preparing for your workout.
2. What is currently Tight on your Body? think about what movements you do during the day and at night when you’re asleep that could cause tightness. What is the one area on your body we can put some work into that will unlock the rest of your restrictions.
This is an area that we need to work on, We need to change the tone and prepare it to train.
3. The next second thing to consider is what are you training that day? What area on your body needs to be able to move? What area on your body needs to waken up? What part on your body needs to be ready to be active.
Once you’ve considered these three aspects you can figure out what you should be foam rolling.
How long to Foam Roll?
We are in and out no longer than 2 minutes just concentrating on those 1 to 2 areas that will allow you to move further into your preparation process.
We use 2 main techniques the Oscillatory and the Trigger point.
Oscillatory technique consists of 2 – 3 inches of movement over the area that needs it the most, you know when your on the spot it feels like the tightest section of the muscle. This is tapping into your Neural Plasticity waking up the body and releasing the internal handbrake which has your body locked into that safety mode.
Trigger point is targeting those areas with a lot of nerve endings, it is waking the body up and improving your proprioception in that area, preparing the body to fire! NB. Remember to breath this is all about relaxing the mind and letting the body prepare to train.
Where Should i Foam Roll?
Here are some of the key areas that often require Soft tissue work for the majority of people.
Quadriceps and TFL – Useful if you are sitting most of the day or feel restriction in the front of your hip when squatting or deadlifting.
Adductor – Another one from over sitting and can be the hidden culprit in knee pain when squatting.
Thoracic – Over Sitting and not enough movement can cause this area to get jammed up. Meaning when you train other area might try and take over the movement which can cause issues. (e.g. Lower back and Neck)
Pec – Poor posture, typing and possibly training the bench press too much can cause this one to be an issue. Use this technique to unlock the chest and shoulder for better movement.
To dive deeper into foam rolling check out these articles..
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