Most people stick to the gym class stretch you learned in third grade, but I’ve got news for you…. That may be hindering your workouts! Static stretching a cold muscle basically freezes up that muscle and alters your range of motion.If you decide to do static stretching, warm your body up first! Otherwise, your range of motion is compromised. When this happens, you aren’t getting the full benefit of the exercise you’re performing. Foam rolling or Self-Myofascial Release may be your better option!
This technique requires a cylinder shaped foam tube. You can also use lacrosse, tennis, or softballs to do the same technique to really hit those trigger points. Foam rolling loosens the connective tissue sheath that protects your muscles allowing your range of motion to increase. What happens during this process is the fascia that protects the muscle is lengthened and trigger points are relieved with the pressure of the roller. It breaks up adhesions and scar tissue, increasing recovery time and decreasing muscle soreness from workouts. Foam rolling allows your muscle to return back to its normal function adding more elasticity and increasing blood flow.This technique can be used all over your body (except on joints and the neck) to release stress on the muscles. When I foam roll, I typically do about 5-8 repetitions. Once you find a tender spot, try to hold the ball or roller on that area for 30 mins. It can be very painful, but once you’re done, you feel like a new person. It’s almost like giving yourself a deep tissue massage!
I included a video…..clearly I like to roll almost my whole body!!! What I left out that may be helpful to you is the LATISSIMUS DORSI stretch. It looks similar to how I rolled out my triceps but you turn full side with legs straight. Place the roller under your extended arm (with thumb pointing up). Roll downward toward your middle to last ribs then roll back towards where your started.
Oh how it hurts so good! Once you start to feel the benefits you’re going to love foam rolling!