Don’t Make these Foam Rolling Mistakes

Recover faster when you avoid these foam rolling mistakes

Sore muscles are both an unavoidable evil and a pet peeve of most runners. Muscles break down due to the exertion from a run or workout. They need rest and soothing care to repair themselves. Muscle recovery is essential for any exhaustive exercise. But, it is especially true for cardio-muscular exercises, like running, swimming, and cycling. The older one gets, the more time that it takes for muscles to recover and the amount of care and attention that muscle recovery takes tends to increase. Speed up the recovery process when you avoid the 4 foam rolling mistakes below.

Foam rolling with its simple techniques is one of the most popular and trusted methods of muscle recovery for runners. However, one must be careful to do it right. The techniques of foam rolling if executed wrong can cause irreparable damage instead of boosting run recovery and muscle release. When foam rolling is done correctly, the benefits are enormous. Avoid the 4 foam rolling mistakes below to speed up the recovery process. Pro tip: learn how booty bands can strengthen your muscles and help prevent injury.

Don’t ignore the knots 

Foam rolling won’t be effective if you don’t take care of your knots (muscle adhesions) first. You can use a foam roller to loosen the knots. If they are localized in a small area, use a tennis or massage ball to ease the tension. Exert pressure on the area with your weight until you feel the muscles loosen. Then, lengthen the muscle out with a foam roller for 90 seconds.

Don’t skip the warm-up

Foam rolling is an effective warm-up and you shouldn’t skip it. It is advisable to set aside at least 10 minutes pre-workout or pre-run to foam roll. If your muscles aren’t properly attuned for the exertion, there is a high risk that you will pull on your adhesions which will increase pain and damage. Pro tip: add these 4 stretches to your foam rolling for the ultimate warm-up.

Don’t foam roll forever 

If you need more than 20-25 minutes of foam rolling (pre- and post-workout) it might be due to an underlying condition. You shouldn’t foam roll any muscle group of your body for more than 90 seconds. Excessive foam rolling of an injured muscle might increase pain. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to underwork your muscle tissues than to overwork it. If you suspect an injury, visit Dr. Allen and the experts at Ascension Seton Sports Performance. They can identify the issue and help you become a better runner.

Don’t start with a textured roller

If you are an occasional runner, above 35 years of age, or new to foam rolling, do not start with a textured or hard roller. It will compress your muscles, make them stiff, cause needless pain. Start with an even and soft roller. Once your muscles become accustomed to the pressure, then incrementally move on to firmer and textured rollers.

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Complete these 4 Stretches Before You Run

Help prevent injury and add these 4 stretches before you run

Aside from losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, running is an activity that comes with numerous benefits. It can help improve both your mental and physical health. Just like other exercises, you need to warm up your body before you begin. A great way to do that before running is to stretch. We breakdown why injuries happen and advise that you complete these 4 stretches before you run.

Regardless of how beneficial running can be, more than 65% of runners get injured every year. This stat might seem discouraging, but the good news is that you can avoid these running injuries. One of the primary reasons why people get injured after running is because their muscles were overworked or overstretched. When the muscles in the legs are stiff and tight, running might be a bad idea as it can lead to injuries. In order to avoid getting injured, the muscles should be first stretched properly. The best way to avoid this is by completing these 4 stretches before you run. If you do become injured, see Dr. Allen and the experts at Ascension Seton Sports Performance.

Pro tip: don’t begin marathon training without these 7 essential items!

  • Single-Leg Deadlift 

This exercise is an effective means of stretching every muscle within the hips and hamstrings. To do this, get into a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Place your weight on your right leg and gradually raise your left leg out behind you and make sure it’s straight. As you raise your left leg, simultaneously hinge at your waist. Doing this correctly gets you into a T shape.

  • Hip Flexor Stretch 

A tight hip flexor can cause injuries while running. This exercise can help avoid that injury. Get into a lunge position with your front knee at 90 degrees. Then gradually straighten your back leg and then raise your arms. Hold in this position for 10 seconds and change legs.

  • Walking Lunge 

This exercise helps avoid injuries in the knee and thigh region. Get into a standing position, then move your right leg forward. Bend the right leg until the knee is at 90 degrees and the back knee is almost touching the ground. Stay in this position for 5 seconds and then move forward with the left leg. While doing this, place your hands on your waist.

  • Calf Raise 

This is another helpful stretching exercise that can help avoid injuries while running. This exercise targets muscles in the calf region. To do this, stand straight and gently push through the balls of your feet till your heels are high, and you are standing fully on your toes. After standing on your toes for 5 seconds, slowly return to your initial standing position.

Avoiding injuries that are caused by running is possible, but only with the right stretching. Completing these 4 stretches before you run is very important. Especially for people that haven’t engaged in running for a long time or engage in activities that require less movement. If you have an injury or what to become a better runner, email Ascension Seton Sports Performance today – sportssci@ascension.org.