Have you ever walked into the gym, carefully listened to the faint sounds, and contemplated if the facility itself had a room specifically for giving birth? I mean it makes perfect sense to have the delivery room right next to the squat rack… The deep, racing breathes that shoot out one after another as if a little bundle of joy was about to pop into the world? To your surprise (and relief) the breathing and panic like noises were just coming from the area were the foam rollers were located.
The look on people’s faces eerily mirrors an intense game of charades. Instead of foam rolling their muscles before a training session it looks as if they are acting out a card labeled, “intense facial pain.” When trainers ask their clients to foam roll before class, to the outside world their faces look as if they were told to walk across glass barefoot.
The point of foam rolling (myofacial release) is to apply pressure to the target muscles. This, in turn basically tells them to lengthen, releasing those painful knots. Static stretching has been shown to just make the knots smaller and much more condensed. The proper technique in foam rolling is to relax, with nice soothing deep breathes even if the shock hits you just like it does when someone flushes the toilet during your warm shower.
It is uncomfortable for all of us that participate in foam rolling and trust me; a little pain now trumps a significant injury down the road. Take some deep breaths and relax into the roller knowing it is doing you some good.
After all we are about to train, not hit up the nearest Lamaze class.
Here are my GO-TO foam rolling exercises when time is a factor.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx3WlQpxGVA&w=560&h=315] 2. Glutes
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smlnj_lIylM&w=560&h=315] 3. IT Bands