With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to get the perfect gift for fitness fanatics. Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs recommends a foam roller. This gift will help them relax on a regular basis, rather than a nice, but one-time massage session. Plus, mid-range rollers cost less than one massage therapist appointment and they can fit using it into their busy life.
Foam rollers can be used both pre- and post- workout as a great tool for muscle repair and relaxation.
Foam rolling offers a lot of benefits both directly after a workout and when used on a consistent basis. Muscle growth is directly related to the breakdown and repair of the muscle fibers.
“When strength training, small tears are made to the tissue. But don’t be concerned. It happens all the time as muscles strengthen. They heal and build more muscle. But, as this is happening, knotty areas can form, causing muscle tissue to ‘tighten up’ and causing more discomfort than necessary. Using a foam roller assists in creating nice, lean muscle by smoothing out the knotty areas,” says Jason Markowicz, founder of Fitness Premier.
It flushes lactic acid. Lactic acid is the byproduct of working your muscles. Along with those little tears, lactic acid is what causes post workout soreness. When you properly use a foam roller after a workout, you can flush some of the lactic acid and manage the tenderness you feel after intense exercise.
It prevents injuries. Muscles that are tight and constricted are the enemy of staying injury free. Foam rolling allows those muscles to relax and stretch releasing the constriction from a workout. This creates less tension for ligaments and tendons and decreases the occurrence of related injury.
It provides a pre-workout boost. Though it may seem counterintuitive to all of the above, there are benefits to using your foam roller before a workout as well. By increasing circulation, you can get the blood pumping and your muscles warm. Warm muscles perform better and will allow you to push yourself harder and further than if you come in cold.
All of this being said, sometimes foam rolling is just darn relaxing. Getting through an intense workout is a major adrenaline rush and then it just comes to an end. Properly cooling down and using your foam roller can return yourstress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure to pre workout levels. But don’t worry, you won’t lose those elevated feel-good endorphins!
Fitness Premier Fit Pros recommend…
- Rolling out after workouts, at least twice a week.
- Remember to breathe.
- Break up sessions into muscle groups and break up larger muscles into short sections.
- Don’t over-roll. Only spend 30-45 seconds per specific area or 3-4 minutes total on a muscle group.
- Don’t use too much pressure. Working out knots will always take some pressure but shouldn’t be extremely painful. If it hurts intensely, ease back the pressure.
- Roll before workouts too, especially if specific muscles will be working very hard.
- Take care not to roll directly over any bones or joints. Be aware to stay on muscle and never on ligaments or organs.
“Consistency is key when foam rolling. By doing a little bit each day, you will see huge large term benefits that will allow you to do all the things that you love,” says Markowicz.
Who is rolling for?
It’s not just for people who are into fitness. A foam roller is also a great gift for…
- People who are stuck at a desk all day and cannot fully stretch their quads.
- People who lift or bend all day for work and have been working their side quads a lot.
- People who work on a computer all day and need to decompress their spine and open up their chest and shoulders.