Most people think that the best thing to do when arriving at the gym before a class or workout is to hop on a piece of cardio equipment and warm-up.

Foam Rolling Exercise For Your Entire Body

In fact, the best way to prepare for your hard work is to grab a matt and a foam roller and prepare those muscles for action by making sure there are no areas of adhesions or sore spots.

Have you ever felt tightness or soreness from daily activities or from the previous day’s exercise? Foam rolling before beginning can help to maximize your potential for work.

Imagine sore, knotted muscles are like a shoelace, if you have knots in your laces, does pulling on them help? Well, it is the same with our muscles. Foam rolling first can help to eliminate the little knots and adhesions.

Before beginning, note that if used correctly, you should not feel any severe pain, and you should progress slowly until you determine your tolerance level for discomfort. Work your way from the calves, to the hamstrings, the glutes, IT bands, to the mid-back. Then you can turn over and continue on to the quads.

While for other portions of your workout, pain and discomfort are to be avoided, the foam rolling portion may be viewed as a search and destroy mission. Slight to moderate discomfort may help to determine where the trouble spots lie.

Begin by rolling back and forth along with the muscles natural striations. If you do have any “stickiness,” there will be some discomfort. The key is to stay on these spots, relax into them then continue to roll out the muscle. In most cases, there is a marked improvement after each use.

I recommend foam rolling before you stretch. Foam rolling can help to maximize muscle length, increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles which can in return speed up repair time.

Let’s think of stretching without rolling first. Picture a band with a knot in it and we are stretching it by pulling on either end. What will happen to the knot? The foam roller unties the knot before stretching begins!

Foam rollers are sold in most stores. Walmart, Target, Amazon or any sporting goods stores will have a variety. There are shorter lengths as well, which make it easy to take with you and store as easily at home or office.

When you purchase one it will likely come with an instruction booklet or DVD to get you started. Watch first. It is fairly intuitive. Then have a roll!
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