Categories: Health Training

This is how we roll | Foam rolling for rest days

October 31, 2017

The holiday season is approaching quickly, and it’s the perfect time to give some TLC to your muscles. If you’re planning on including some active recovery time to your end-of-the-year 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 are planning time off from your training regime leading up to, or during the holiday period, then it’s an awesome opportunity to get foam rolling! If you cannot wait to rest up and spend a few R&R hours each day on the couch instead of building up km’s on the road, then foam rolling for a few minutes each day will ensure lactic acid doesn’t build up in your muscles when you are 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 will notice your flexibility improves, you feel more relaxed because your body won’t feel so stiff (better blood flow & circulation), and you will 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!

Let’s roll

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.

Groin Roll

Hamstring Roll

Quadriceps Roll

Glutes Roll

Lat Roll

Upper back Roll

In the spotlight

Lucy Young

Lucy Young

Lucy Young is a certified personal trainer with a background in competitive track and field. She has worked internationally training clients in England, Canada and Australia. She is the creator of her own business, Lucy Young Fitness, and known best for her bootcamp/HIIT workouts.

“As a Polar Ambassador I now have the privilege of being able to reach and motivate more individuals looking for some fitness inspiration – a great feat from a girl from small-town New Zealand.”