Foam Rolling: The why’s and how to’s

July 14, 2016

Foam rolling, which once seemed to be shrouded in mystery and exclusively reserved for top athletes, now seems to be all the rage in the gym. Now that foam rollers are affordable, popular, and all over the gym – it would serve us all well to know what they’re really for and how best to use them.

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What’s it for?

Like a do it yourself deep tissue massage, foam rolling is meant to break up scar tissue and release lactic acid to speed up muscle recovery after a workout. The foam roller uses your body’s response to pressure by causing the muscles to relax as you roll over tight spots and trigger points.

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How do I do it?

Listen to your body. Foam rolling isn’t all fun and games, oftentimes it’s tough to make yourself roll out after a serious workout. Rolling out muscles and sore spots can be painful, so make sure to consult with a trainer to learn best practices before engaging in anything that feels like it may be doing damage.

Keep in mind that foam rollers were not made to roll over joints or bones, as extra pressure on joints can do serious damage. Concentrate your rolling on large muscle groups to see your best results. Fitness wearables can be used while you’re warming up or cooling down with your foam roller. Using an accurate heart rate monitor like the MZ-3 to know how your heart is working while you ease your tensions is another way to intimately stay in tune with your body.

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What are the benefits?

When deep tissue massages can run you anywhere from $50 to $100+ per session, investing in a quality foam roller saves you a lot of money overtime.

Rolling decreases muscle soreness. You may think that stretching your muscles after a workout will give you the same results as a foam rolling session, but that is just not so. Simply stretching muscles doesn’t do anything for the connective tissue that can get sore from repetitive use and impact during your workouts.

Need to see how it’s used? Here are a few video’s from Runner’s World that will help you to visualize how to use your roller to it’s fullest. Have you tried foam rolling? What do you think? Have you noticed a change in your recovery or in soreness after an intense workout? We would love to see some of your go-to foam rolling moves by sharing them on social media using #myzone #effortrewarded and #myzonemoves.

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