Here’s the thing; as the years go by you lose elasticity in your joints and connective tissue, this becomes more obvious as we continue to keep up a regular exercise regime. Out of blue you feel pain doing the simplest of exercises and you seem unable to ‘stretch it out’.
A good massage is one way to can reduce stiffness and soreness but we reckon using a foam roller is not only better, it’s cheaper! Basically correct use of a foam roller breaks up fibrous muscle tissue which boosts circulation so you feel more flexible and less sore.
Here’s a 10 minute routine to add at the end of your workout or in the privacy of your own home that will relieve muscle tension and pain.
Routine at a Glance:
You’ll need: A foam roller (short or long) a flat floor space (preferably carpeted) or if you are the gym use the gym mats.
Frequency: We recommend at least 3 sessions a week to get the benefits.
Begin each move by lying with a part of your body on top of the foam cylinder, then roll slowly in both directions until you find a (knot) tender spot. Hold pressure on that spot for 5 to 10 seconds, or until you feel the muscle relax, then continue down the length of the muscle until you find another knot; repeat 3 to 5 times.
To Reduce back tension and pain.
Lie face up with foam roller horizontally under upper back (below shoulder blades), knees bent, feet flat, and hands behind head. Tighten your abdominal s and press into feet, lifting hips slightly to slowly roll from upper to middle back. Find a tender spot. Hold, release, and repeat.
From this position, bring foam roller under lower back, with knees bent and arms out to sides. Contract abs and tilt slightly to left to target muscles along left part of back. Still tilted left, press into feet to roll back and forth from midback to top of hips, stopping when you find a sore spot. Hold, release, and repeat. Switch sides, tilted slightly to right.
TIP: For a deeper back stretch, lift your hips.
Hamstrings and Calf
Sit with right leg extended, roller horizontally under upper thigh, left knee bent, foot on floor, and hands behind you for support. Slowly roll down from buttock to knee, stopping when you find a tender point. Hold, release, and repeat.
Bring roller under calf, keeping hands behind you. Slowly roll from just below knee to ankle, stopping when you find a sore spot. Hold, release, and repeat. Switch legs, and repeat.
IT Band, To release tight Hip, knee and butt. (a must for cyclists)
Lie on left side with roller under left hip, right leg crossed in front, foot flat. Support upper body on left forearm, right hand on hip, with head in line with spine. Press into right foot and roll down side of leg from just below hip to above knee, stopping when you find a tender point. Hold, release, and repeat. Switch sides.
Quads – probably the easiest to do!
Releasing your quadriceps (quads) is simple… just lay on top of the roller using your hands for balance and work the front of the thigh from the hip down to the knee.
You can perform this exercise with one or both legs on the roller, depending upon how much pressure you can handle or desire. If you want less pressure, keep one leg off the roller and use the foot to support some of your body weight.