First of all, Foam Rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR). It has its benefits, but it cannot fix everything. If you are suffering lower back pain, it cannot heal you immediately. If you have muscle soreness, it cannot reduce the soreness within 1 minute.
Being said that, if you do it regularly on the daily basis, Foam Rolling can keep you away from the injury.
Stretching exercises and mobility drills are also vital elements in your training program. Nobody can only lift weight only without recovery.
You may see a lot of people are spending tons of time to do foam rolling at the gym, maybe sometimes take longer than their actual training period.
I highly recommend my trainees to spend 10-15 mins with Foam Roller at home every day for recovery. We don't go to do massage every day, but we can do rolling before and after the training session.
Today, I would like to introduce 4 different Foam Rolling exercises - Thoracic Spine Opener, Calves, Quads & IT band.
A. Thoracic Spine Opener
Let me tell you a secret, I do this exercise every day first thing in the morning.
I have to do it, otherwise, I will suffer a headache by spending too much time in front of the computer. Literally, I am training 1-2 sessions a day, but most of the time I am sitting down, it means my job is a sedentary job like most of you.
B. Thoracic Spine Opener (2)
This exercise is suitable for everyone even you are not a Handstand practitioner. It works very well.
C. Foam Rolling with Calves
Oh man! I hate this one. My calves are always killing me. It is so painful. But Don't quit.
Stay there. Roll it slowly from low to high, from side to side. You will find that your calves are very long, and you may find many spots from the calves.
D. Foam Rolling with Quads
Again! My quads are screaming when I am rolling my quads. It's brutal if I don't take care of the muscles. My knees will hurt when I am doing squat. If you train your legs a lot, you must know what I mean.
After rolling you calves, you can squat deeper with larger range of motion.
E. Foam Rolling with IT Band
Many people nelgect their Iliotibial Band (IT Band).
The iliotibial band runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh, from the pelvis to the tibia, crossing both the hip and knee joints. The iliotibial band is an important stabilizer structure of the lateral part of the knee as the joint flexes and extends.
Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury causing painon the outside part of the knee especially during runningwhen the heel strikes the ground.
Tip: Keep rolling from side to side of your IT Band. You can find a nerve connect to your knees. Don't quit. Stay there.
"Sometimes your body hurts because you don’t have enough range and you’re jamming the body to its end range trying to achieve something. For those times mobility work is definitely a great option." - Dr John Rusin