Don’t Rule Out the Roll Out!
Posted on 06 February 2018
Seeing as it's February, and winter is here, it’s sometimes harder to get out and go for a run or to the gym. Whether it’s too damn cold to workout or the weather conditions won’t allow you to exercise there’s always an excuse. Usually when it’s extreme freezing conditions the good intentions of exercising is there but staying warm wins over. There will always be an excuse if you can find one to make up. You make up in your mind if exercise is a priority or not. But if you’re the kind of person who is determined to get your workout in and want to crush those 2018 fitness goals, you will always find a way to get your workout in. No matter what road block you faces you.
A good way to make sure you don’t quit your fitness goals is to have a good recovery plan. To avoid additional DOMS aka delayed onset muscle soreness, pain, discomfort or even injuries it’s important to stretch. If I’m not getting in for regular self care treatments like massage, chiropractic care, acupuncture etc. I like to stretch. I am always finding ways to incorporate stretching into my daily routine. Whether I’m doing neck stretches in a hot shower, an exaggerated blind spot check over my shoulder when I drive or putting on my shoes with a straight leg. I’m always finding ways to stretch.
One of my most favourite tools to use is a foam roller. I call it a “torture tool” of pain. I have a love hate relationship with the foam roller. I love how I feel after when I’m done doing the stretches but I hate it while I’m doing the stretches. I am always internal cursing every time I roll out on a foam roller. But the way I see it pain is weakness leaving the body. So if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not effective for my sore muscles. I find the benefits to foam rolling are definitely cumulative effects. Over time it does hurt less and helps me perform better during exercises.
Here’s my full body roll out on the foam roller. I like to use the white or blue dense roller but sometimes use a roller with bumps or ridges on it. I find that helps get into those really aggravated sore spots. I like to roll out for 30-45 seconds on each body part. Sometimes I’ll roll for 1 minute. It usually depends on how sore or tight my body is on that day.
Lower Back - starting with the foam roller under your back just above your glute muscles aka your bum. I roll up and down to about mid back. Sometimes I’ll get a self adjustment in my spine when I do this one. Free chiropractic care in half the time.
Lateral Back aka Latissimus Dorsi - starting with the foam roller at the waist and rolling up and down into armpit. This stretch is particularly good for anyone who carries a lot of heavy objects.
Anterior Chest aka Pectoralis - laying on top of the foam roller with arm stretched out. This stretch is a bit awkward but is very beneficial for anyone suffering from forward head posture. Typically office workers. Sometimes I’ll use an acupressure ball to hit this spot more specifically.
Upper Anterior Thigh (Quadriceps, IT band and Psoas muscles) - starting with foam roller at knee I roll up and down to hip attachment. This is a sweet pain. Most people have tight hips so this stretch hits all the juicy painful parts. After I take the roller to the lateral or the side of my leg and roll up and down the IT band.
Inner Thigh - laying in a semi split position I start with the foam roller at the knee and roll up into the groin.
Glutes aka Buttocks - sitting in a figure position placing one foot over the opposite knee. Rolling through the meaty part of this glutes. This one is great for people who sit a lot at work or just generally have tight hips.
Upper Posterior Thigh aka Hamstrings - I like to place one leg on top of the other leg for added resistance. Starting with the foam roller behind the knee and rolling up to just underneath the buttocks.
Lower Leg (Gastrocnemius and Soleus muscles) - starting with the foam roller at the Achilles’ tendon and rolling up and down the meaty part of the calves. Then turning my leg inside and outside hits the side calf muscles. This stretch is great for women who wear a lot of high heels. Or anyone who is on their feet a lot.
To end the rolling session I like to lay on top of the foam roller. So that it lays vertical underneath my spine. I open up my arms wide and bend my knees. So that my feet are flat on the ground. I like to do a few minutes of deep breathing. I find this helps to reset my nervous system and it really relaxes my body. I find the foam roller so simple yet so effective.