Foam rolling is one method that aids in the area of easing down pain and encouraging blood flow to the muscles, helping to create better mobility, balance and improving one’s performance. It helps get rid of adhesion, a form of massage to the body.
This tool if used can serve as a healing and restorative source to the body. However, using them the wrong way can only be like adding salt to a fresh wound and this article has the answer to how to fix the common foam rolling mistakes. Here we go;
1. Bad posture
The first most important thing when approaching the foam rolling method is to be aware about your posture. Your posture is everything when it comes to attaining the right results to ease pain. In order to gain effective results, have the right posture, be conscious of this, and do not approach this exercise with a laissez faire attitude as you would not tackle the areas that need to be handled.
It is easy to do this the wrong way after a run or a heavy exercise, which can flare up the injury or muscle weakness. It is hard work and you should pay attention to it like every other exercise.
Be conscious about your posture throughout this exercise, as the wrong move might cause you more pain in injured areas. If you are unsure about whether you are doing it right, have a gym instructor guide you on how to do it the right way, or you can have someone video you whilst you try out the foam rolling to see if you are getting your posture right.
If you do know how to do it but you are exhausted, avoid completely and wait until you’ve rested to ease out the tension later.
Watch YouTube videos on how to foam roll properly before commencing.
2. You roll too fast
When you foam roll fast, you tend to do it the wrong way and as such you are not easing any muscles or adhesion that way. You see, you need to relax your body and focus on the area you want to work on and get at it. Yes, foam rolling does hurt, but breezing through isn’t effective either. Here is how to fix this.
Instead, feel the spot you want to tackle, then use short and slow rolling over that area, go at it for while so that the muscles adapt to the new feeling and manage the compression, thus easing out the stress. Only on that point instead of the whole area, losing the point and not achieving anything.
3. Foam rolling directly on an injured area
It makes sense to want to foam roll on an injured area and ease the tension in that end, however in the way the body works, things don’t go that way, instead you could cause inflammation in that area, tensing the muscles and fascia. Also another point to note is that most times where you feel pain is not always the source of injury. That is where we get it wrong, but here is how to fix this and act on it properly.
Before going to the direct spot and foam rolling on that area, go an inch or 2 below the area and work on that area. Do this for about 2-5 minutes until your body is aware of what is happening on that area, take your time, go slowly.
Then slowly head towards the main spot, using longer strides. Due to the persistent rolling of the foam in the non-affected area, the affected area was “aching” to be foam rolled as the tension would slowly easy out since you’ve being building up from a non-affected area. Muscles are connected, therefore passing info of tension relieve. This will help avoid inflammation but also effectively tackle the source of pain.
4. Staying on one spot too long
Foam rolling on a sensitive area can cause more damage and foam rolling too long on an affected can irritate the nerves or damage the tissue which can cause bruising or inflammation. However, staying on one spot for too long might irritate a nerve or damage the tissue, which can cause bruising and further inflammation. Stay on one spot doesn’t cause it to heal faster, move around, come back and move around again.
Go gentle, the maximum time to spend on your weight is 20 seconds after this, switch to some other for 20 seconds and come back to it. Another method is to start with half your body weight using your hand and weight to adjust or gauge pressure and then slowly use your entire body weight. If it is still hard to do then relax and come back later after you are well rested.
5. You spend too much time on those knots
It is important not to spend too much time on Knots. Some people tend to spend as much 5 to 10 minutes foam rolling on one area using their entire body weight on it too.
“Spend 20 seconds on each tender spot then move on,” Vazquez recommends. You can also manage how much body weight you use. To help take pressure off your roller, firmly place your feet on the floor, to take some weight off the roller.
image couresy: amazon.co.uk, bicycling.com.