We did a Facebook Live with the people over at Fleet Feet on the best foam rolling moves for people that run. Have you ever tried foam rolling?
The Benefits of Foam Rolling
- Eliminates adhesions in your muscles and connective tissues – this helps keep your fascia moving freely, enhancing mobility.
- Adhesions create points of weakness in the tissues, which leads to injury or pain
- Increases blood flow to the area resulting in faster recovery and reduced soreness
- Helps maintain normal muscle function – means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice
Types of Tools Used in the Video
- Triggerpoint GRID roller
- Triggerpoint MB5 Ball
Foam rolling can be performed anytime – before as part of your warm-up routine or after as part of your cool down to aid in recovery.
General Foam Rolling Tips
- Your movements should be slow and controlled (don’t foam roll too fast). Break big muscle groups into smaller sections.
- Continue to breathe throughout movements – don’t hold your breath
- Never roll over a joint or bone – focus on the fleshy parts of your body
- Avoid foam rolling your lower back – it tends to be a sensitive area with several nerves. Typically foam rolling other areas surrounding your lower back (such as glutes and pirfirmoris) will help relieve pain in that area.
- Make sure you maintain good posture while rolling
- Be consistent for long-term benefits
- The point of pain is not necessarily the origin of your issue – make sure you are working all areas surrounding trouble spots
3 Muscle Groups to Target While Foam Rolling
(these tend to be common problem areas for runners in particular)
- Chronically tight calves can contribute several ailments including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and shin splints.
- Place one leg on the foam roller, prop yourself up with the opposite hand, and roll slowly back and forth
- To add additional pressure, place the opposite leg on top of the one resting on the foam roller
- Angle your toes in and out to work different areas of the calves
Quads – Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis
- Quads are important for hip and knee stabilization
- Due to their size, it’s best to break up each section of the quad into 3 parts
- Lay on your stomach, prop yourself up on your elbows while bending the opposite leg slightly for support
- Start just above the knee roll slowly (approx. 2-inch section), and do 2-3 knee bends while maintaining pressure on the roller
- Follow the same movements on the middle area of the muscle, and finally near the top
- Pivot at a 45-degree angle and 90-degree angle to work all areas of the quad
Piriformis (best to use MB5 Ball)
- Small deep muscle in the upper portion of the glutes – important for stabilizing the pelvis
- When tight, the piriformis can impinge the sciatic nerve causing pain
- Sit with hands behind your body for support and angle yourself so that the upper part of your glute rests on the ball
- Sit with your hands behind your body for support; keep the opposite leg slightly bent to help manage the pressure
- Movements include: rolling back and forth, circles, rotating the hip externally in a clamshell motion, and extending the leg straight
Feel free to stop by Fleet Feet Sports Madison or Sun Prairie with any other questions related to foam rolling!