Foam rolling has become a staple in many athletic training programs. This technique helps enhance athletic performance, as well as provides rehabilitative benefits.
A Solution That Makes Sense
As athletes, there is a high demand placed on them to perform well and those who play professionally must raise the bar even higher. Tightening of muscles, as well as knots, may develop, which can create trigger points and hinder the athlete’s ability to excel on the field.
When using a foam roller, the muscle knots and trigger points are loosened up and allow for the athlete to become more relaxed. When the muscles are relaxed, flexibility increases, which improves the athlete’s overall performance. Foam rolling has also been proven active as a preventative technique to avoid muscle soreness following a strenuous activity or game.
Try These Exercises
Here are some of the popular foam rolling exercises that can be incorporated into your pre-workout warm-up and cool-down routines.
- Glutes: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place the foam roller under your glutes perpendicular to your legs. While supporting yourself partially on your hands, angle your body such that one butt cheek bears most of your body weight. Move the glute back and forth over the roller. Tight glutes can cause pain in the knees and lower back region, which can be alleviated using this exercise.
- Hamstrings: Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Place the foam roller under your thighs perpendicular to your legs. Using your arms, shift your weight such that the foam roller moves from the bottom of your thighs to the bottom of your glutes slowly, thoroughly stretching the hamstrings. The exercise will help loosen tight hamstrings and reduce low back pain.
- IT Band: Position yourself on your side with the foam roller placed just under your hip. Move your body over the roller from just below the hip to the top of the knee while supporting yourself with your opposite foot and your hands. This exercise can be used to prevent IT band issues commonly associated with running or other high-impact activity.
- Upper Back: Lie on your back with your upper back against the foam roller. Lift your hips off the floor and move your back over the roller from your mid-back to the level of your shoulders. This is a great way to loosen up tight muscles in your upper back and release tension from your shoulders.
Slow rolling when using the foam roller is more effective than using faster speeds. Apply the foam roller on a trigger point for no more than 20 seconds to alleviate that knot or tender area. With continued use of this practice, your body will begin to feel more flexible with an increased range of motion, allowing you to be your best on the field.
Contact AICA Orthopedics For Help
Our Atlanta sports medicine doctors at AICA Orthopedics provide our patients with the most up to date techniques to get you ahead of the game. If you are an athlete or someone who is engaged in physical activities, foam rolling may be beneficial to you. To learn more, contact our specialists today at (404) 855-2141 to schedule an appointment.