June Weekly Tip Round-Up: The Foam Roller

June Weekly Tip Round-Up: The Foam Roller


Here they are folks – in one convenient location. The five X3 best practice tips for foam rolling:

1. Work the chain.

A tender spot in a specific muscle calls for some foam roller love. Remember, however, that muscle groups work together. Make sure that you travel both up and down the kinetic chain from the sore spot. For example, a tight hamstring could be a symptom of tight glutes. So get up in them glutes, as well as the low back quadratus lumborum muscles and down through the gastrocnemius muscle of the calf. Similarly, on the anterior side of the upper leg, don’t neglect the hip flexors when rolling out tight quads.

2. Roll, Floss, Release.

I’m sure you all are familiar with rolling in the direction of the muscle fiber – that’s generally is the same as the axis of the limb or torso. To truly get at the tough knots and adhesion in muscle tissue you need to do more. Try these two techniques on top of what you’re doing now:

o   Floss: In a floss, the roller remains stationary pressed into a tender spot. Now rotate the limb from side to side to get the pressure from the roller to travel perpendicular to the muscle fiber.

o   Contract / release: In this technique, the roller is once again stationary and pressing up into the tender spot. Now contract the muscle you’re working for a second, then release. Repeat for eight to ten cycles.

3. Take your time.

A foam rolling session should not be a cardio workout. Go slow and aim to spend at least a solid thirty seconds on each muscle group. If you find a tight spot, pause and give it some extra love.

4. Try it before your workout.

Many athletes roll as part of their recovery routine, but did you know that foam rolling can be used before the workout? You need to exercise a little caution here – avoid going too deep, making it too painful, or spending too much time over one spot. If you keep it light however, a good roll session can improve range of motion and decrease muscle wear during a hard session.

5. Get a massage. No matter how good you get with a roller, it’ll never substitute a professional sports massage. Find a quality practitioner and make use of their services on a regular basis. You will be better of for it! Get in touch if you need a recommendation.

If you’re an X3 coached athlete or PT client, BodyTrace Massage Therapy is offering a 50% discount on your first session. Contact me for further details.

Helping you get where you’re going: in the water, on two wheels, on the pavement

Coach M

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