If you’re planning on including some active recovery time to your training schedule, make a note of these foam rolling tips from Polar ambassador and personal trainer Lucy Young.
There is no deeper, cheaper, and more efficient self-massage than the foam roller. While it could easily be one of the most underutilized pre-training techniques to help with muscle soreness, its benefits are too often forgotten on rest days or during time-off from training.
If you’re planning time off from your training regime, then it’s an awesome opportunity to get foam rolling! Rest day when you’re planning to spend a few R&R hours on the couch instead of building up km’s on the road or pumping iron at the gym, foam rolling for a few minutes a day will ensure lactic acid doesn’t build up in your muscles when you’re more sedentary.
You will be able to deeply massage the long-standing knots in your muscles, enabling your body to feel more connected.
What else? You’ll notice your flexibility improves, you feel more relaxed because your body won’t feel so stiff (better blood flow & circulation), and you’ll be able to deeply massage the long-standing knots in your muscles, enabling your body to feel more connected.
Given foam rolling involves applying pressure to areas of build-up tension (or trigger points), it might feel slightly uncomfortable at first. This is completely normal and means that you should start by applying only some of your body weight as you roll (i.e. use your hands and other leg to control the pressure).
Also, foam rolling can at first feel like a workout in itself because you will need to shift and hold your body in new positions in order to target the right muscle groups!
Here’s my go-to foam rolling session, give it a go, and remember that taking a break from training means you have more time to foam roll!
When following this foam rolling guide, roll over each muscle group for a maximum of 20 seconds. Foam rolling for minutes risks only injury to the area by damaging the tissue and causing bruising.
Upper back Roll
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.