I have taught yoga to athletes for years, and the athletes with the best mobility and recovery time are the ones that utilize the combination of stretching AND foam rolling. Athletes get knots all the time, especially heavy weight lifters. These knots act as trigger points and over time cause pain, restrict mobility, strain muscles, and negatively affect performance. The goal is to get rid of these knots and prevent them from forming.
Why Foam Roll?
- Rolling allows you to target trigger points.
- Smooths out knots and releases built up tension.
- Promotes blood flow through muscles (needed for recovery).
- PREVENTS INJURY!
- Increases mobility of muscles and joints.
- Promotes blood flow.
- Releases stress.
What Happens If I Don’t Stretch or Roll?
Well… because you are so awesome and get gains all day every day, your muscle growth will eventually restrict your joint mobility. This will make some movements nearly impossible and even dangerous. Snatching with tight shoulders?…. Don’t even think about it. Even if you have PERFECT form most of the time, the day will come when you accidentally move out of your range of motion by a centimeter. This will be the moment that you tweak, tear, rip, or strain a muscle. This will also be the moment you wish you would have stretched more and maybe rolled out the knot that has been slightly nagging you for weeks. An athlete’s worse nightmare is to be unable to work out for weeks or months due to an injury. So don’t risk it! Take care of your body! Let stretching and rolling be a committed part of your workout regime.
Consistency is Key
Once you feel mobile and knot free it means you are a supple leopard and never have to stretch or roll out again right?…. lol Wrong! I see it all too often. You use yoga to fix your achy lower back, then stop practicing once it feels better and guess what?….a few weeks later and the ache is back! Once you start to feel better it is the time when you go on offense. Stay consistent by foam rolling out your common trigger point areas. Take yoga classes and stretch out all of your muscles and joints on a regular basis. Work with your body, not against it!
My New Favorite Roller
They are rollers with different shapes, sizes, and firmness. I love these over flat foam rollers because they get into all of the curves of your muscles. Personally I feel like they are a lot more effective!