You’ve seen people rolling all around the floor before, and maybe you’ve wondered what the hell everyone is doing down there. Don’t fret, that’s why you have me!
A year ago, this is how my warmup routine went before a leg workout- get to the gym, go on an elliptical for 5-10 minutes, then get to a squat rack and put my leg on something to stretch my hamstrings… good to go! I always had these nagging lower back and hamstring injuries that plagued my workouts, and it wasn’t until I connected my injuries with my sorry warmups that I was able to make a change. Enter, the humble foam roller. I’ve traded my cardio & static stretching warmup for 10 minutes of foam rolling followed by dynamic warmups (save the stretching and holding for after your workout). I kid you not, since day 1 of warming up like this, my nagging hamstring injury has completely gone away!
Foam rolling is basically giving yourself a deep tissue massage. You know, the kind that hurts in the BEST way. It’s a form of self-myofascial release. What’s that crazy term mean? Basically, fascia are the connective tissue that run through & over your muscles. They will sometimes tighten up and/or form knots, and by foam rolling, you are smoothening out your fascia. This in turn loosens up your muscles, improves your range of motion, and leads to all the amazing benefits mentioned above! If hitting a deep squat is difficult for you, try foam rolling your hip flexors and hamstrings, and then notice what a difference it makes in your range of motion!