Leave a Comment The Foundation of Foam
If I were to ask you, “What is this first thing that comes to mind when I say mobility?” You might say, “Foam rolling, rolling on a lacrosse ball, stretching, band stretching, etc.” which are all forms of maintenance on your body to be able to move more freely and pain free. Let’s fixate on foam rolling, one of the most universal methods for mobility work for all levels of athletes.
The foam roller is awesome since it is one of the most widely used mobility tools out there, helps to reduce the soreness in your muscles, and helps create mobility on a global level of your fascia. Take for example when you roll out your hamstrings; that foam roller gives a pretty good release technique on your hamstring muscles on a larger global level than it would compared to a lacrosse ball. This doesn’t mean one is better than the other, but each has its advantage. The foam roller works the fascia globally, so we are getting mobility in a broader level not nitty gritty down to the exact muscle that say a lacrosse ball would do. So what are the advantages of this?
1. It is great at releasing multiple fascia together and this can be very advantageous especially for larger muscle groups like the quads, hamstrings, back, lats, and hips.
2. It is very forgiving to your pain threshold compared to a small ball and some intense stretches.
3. It has a large scalability for all levels of athletes. It is a great tool for the young athlete who’s just starting sports, the elderly athlete who wants to walk without any help, or the parent athlete who wants to be able to squat down to the ground just like their 3 year old.
4. It is a great tool for those just starting their mobility work as it easy to use and many different applications.
Here are some favorite daily foam rolling exercises:
1. Back/Spine – This is great for your thoracic spine health and overhead position. With the foam roller on the ground, lay on top of it facing the ceiling and cross your arms like you are hugging yourself then just work up and down the spine.
2. Low back/Hips – This is one of the most unattended fascia areas, especially with everyone sitting all day. Lay on your back again and put the foam roller under your hips. Now with your feet in the air, rotate your hips to each side and try to wind up some fascia into the foam roller. You can also move back and forth a bit. Play around in the position for a while.
3. Latissimus Dorsi/Lats – Also another unattended area with rounding from staring at a computer screen. Lay on your right side with your right arm fully extended in the overhead position, on top of the foam roller. Now work up and down your side and lats. Move your right arm around into different positions and see if you feel anything really tacked down.