Why You Should Be Foam Rolling

People doing foam rolling.

What you don’t know about your body probably will hurt you. You should know your body better than any doctor you ever see for it.  The problem is that most people don’t know how to be the healthiest versions of themselves. In six years of working with well over a hundred people, I’ve never met anyone who had one solid incident that led to an injury unless it was an accident. There is rarely one thing that causes an injury because the body is naturally resilient if it is getting the attention and maintenance it deserves. Injuries typically happen due to:

  1. inflexibility
  2. stress on the joints due to overactive muscles
  3. an accident or injury from movement

This image is an example of why you need to foam roll. You can’t stretch a muscle to its full length of the muscle fibers if it has adhesions in it. Adhesions are what inadvertently lead to injuries as seen below. Adhesions are like knots in your back, only super small and they typically exist in the fascia (or muscle tissue) keeping you from having full range of motion of that muscle tightness.

Hands down, the number one reason why so many people have injuries is due to negligence of all three. Unfortunately, there is no real education for how to correctly live one’s life in a physically healthy state. In an ideal world, Physical Education in school would be to teach kids how to properly take care of their bodies via nutrition, exercise, foam rolling and stretching. As adults, the understanding is simply to exercise and eat right. Perhaps we are too impatient and are always looking for a quick fix. We live in a society that deals more with killing the pain than preventing it.

SPRING ACTION POINTS

Health really does come down to balance. Knowing your limits, physically and mentally, is essential to being the healthiest version of yourself. 

Pain and inflammation happen more readily as the body starts to age. Hydration is diminished. Collagen fades and joints start creaking. The body starts to age as the boing starts to fade. One day you’ll be moving a piece of furniture, bend over to pick up something or take a misstep and your back gives out, you can’t get back up or you’ve twisted your ankle. But none of these things are going to happen to you if you’re foam rolling, stretching and balance training regularly. It just won’t. This is why we train and this is why paying attention to your body is worth the time.

Whenever I start to work with new clients I get to see the quick results that people discover from foam rolling, consistent exercise and a change in their eating habits. I get to see that tweaking one’s lifestyle (just a little) creates vast amounts of healthy change, improvement of moods, daily energy and a general sense of “I feel better."

It’s still so amazing to me that just a few remedies exercised throughout the week can make such a drastic difference. So here they are:

1.) FOAM ROLL 3-5x a week. I foam roll (and have my clients foam roll before every workout). Check out one of our earlier blogs on stretching and foam rolling called Tight Hips Can Cause Lower Back Pain. Check out M.E.L.T for specifics on foam rolling (as seen on the Dr. Oz show). Foam rolling is for self-myofascial release. It is a technique performed with a foam roller to release adhesions in the muscle and connective tissues. Just as you have knots in your back, you probably also have them all throughout your body. These adhesions consist of liquid and toxins. You want to hold each sore spot (there might be countless adhesions in any one area) for 30 seconds. Try foam rolling your calves, gluts, IT band, quads and lats.

2.) GO TO YOGA so that you have a regular flexibility program in place at least once a week. Yoga will give you better range of motion. (Or stretch the tightest muscles on your body right after foam rolling).

3.) STAY FOCUSED on what your body needs….if you have pain in a certain area, address it. Ask your yoga instructor or other fitness professional how to properly foam roll! We have shown countless people how to have zero knee and back pain just by demonstrating to them how to properly and consistently foam roll and activate weak muscles.