How to Foam Roll Properly for Fast Recovery

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How to Foam Roll Properly for Fast Recovery

How to foam roll is a question that a lot of running trainers get asked often. The answer is simple - it's easier than you think. The whole purpose behind foam rolling is to create instability in the joint so that the muscles and ligaments can then release the stress through the natural process of movement. Foam rollers are available in a wide range of sizes, from small travel cases to extra large and even two-person rollers. These allow you to use them at home or while running long distances, as both methods to help speed up the recovery of joints.


So, what are some of the benefits of learning how to foam roll correctly? Firstly, it can relieve calf muscle and joint tightness because the process of rotating the legs causes the muscles in the calves and the hamstring to contract. A tight Achilles tendon for example will mean that the muscle will be stiff and rigid, increasing the possibility of injury. Trigger points in the calves and hamstring are also the cause of tightness in the back, so being able to release these tight areas will allow you to improve your performance whilst running and reduce the chances of injury occurring.


As we all know, lower back pain is one of the most common running injuries, and this is mainly caused by a lack of strength in the muscles of the back. Learning how to foam roll can help strengthen these muscles, which will reduce the amount of lower back pain you experience during your runs. It is likely that many runners have experienced sore and tight ankles, wrists, hips and shoulders, but these usually occur after an injury has occurred. Learning how to foam roll these areas can give you the opportunity to strengthen and stretch the muscles in this area.


The muscles in your calves and hamstrings will also benefit from foam rolling, as they will become more limber and more flexible. By stretching them out they will be able to provide you with increased support, which should reduce the chance of injury. Trigger point therapy will also be able to offer you some relief from soreness and tightness in the lower back. This therapy involves using the thumbs, forearms and index fingers to 'trig' or massage these tense areas, releasing the muscle tension that causes the soreness. This process is similar to massage but is more effective for releasing muscle tension and pain.


As we all know, lower back pain is often a symptom of weak or tight glutes. The main problem with this is that the glutes are responsible for movement of the leg, allowing the runner to prevent the body putting pressure on the nerve and reducing the chance of injury. Learning how to foam roll the buttocks and glutes can help to alleviate this problem, as it is possible to tighten the gloves and prevent any lower back pain occurring. The trick is to learn what type of motion to use, which varies between running and walking. The running motion is essentially the same, but by varying the direction and speed the buttocks and gates will be opened up and the muscles relaxed. As the running motion increases, the soft tissue in the abdomen will contract and reduce the pain.


Many people also suffer from knee pain, especially if they have suffered an injury or pulled a muscle recently. For those who have pulled a muscle, foam rolling can help to ease knee pain and swelling, as the knees will become less rigid. As the muscles become less rigid, the knee will regain its elasticity and reduce the chance of further injury to the knee.