It’s cheap, portable and caters for all. If you’re an experienced Personal Trainer chances are you’ll see this as an essential piece of kit that’s a regular feature in your client training sessions. If you’re less experienced or self-train you may have wondered what the point of these bits of foam are, often haphazardly found in a forgotten corner of the gym floor? Whether you’re a foam roller fan, want to reacquaint yourself or need some convincing, our fab roller moves are sure to grab your clients’ attention. So go on mix things up a bit, add them into your programmes and await some awesome results.
Benefits of Regular Rolling
Reduced post workout soreness
Improved blood circulation
Less injury risk
Greater flexibility and range of motion
Why Use a Foam Roller
If your client is new to exercise the dread of tight muscles can play havoc with their new training regime. Whilst you may be full of motivation and support, once daily movement becomes temporarily restricted from tight, sore muscles it’s all too easy for your client to be tempted to skip their workout…just for today. But fear not! The foam roller acts in a similar way to a sports massage and helps reduce the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. Used post workout as part of a thorough stretch and cool down they can work wonders. Don’t forget to take a few before and after photo’s to point out their new and improved posture along the way.
How to Roll
Rolling is all about body weight assisted stretching. We love it because your client is in full control of the level of pressure applied. Conduct a general post workout stretch assessment and you’ll notice which areas are tighter and need that bit more attention. Go easy here to begin with as these are often overlooked zones. As things start to loosen up and relax more pressure can gradually be applied. As with all things stretching related the golden rule is it should never hurt – be on the lookout for over stretching and stay within your clients capabilities.
Our 4 Fab Moves
Ask your client to side lie partially supporting their body weight with their legs and arms, and lie with a foam roller under the upper, outside section of the thigh. Roll the foam roller along the outside of the thigh right down to just above the knee. Adjust the pressure on the foam roller if needed by using their arms and legs to lessen the pressure on the IT band. Roll back towards the start position and continue back and forth in this fashion for 6 reps.
Use steady breathing whilst performing this exercise.
Calf – self massage
To foam roll the calf muscles, ask your client to place the foam roller under the calf muscles as shown and roll between just above the ankle and below the knee in continuous movements. Ask them to hold any sore areas for 20-30 seconds. By using their arms to hold up the hips they can add more pressure to the area if required.
Hamstring – self massage
Here your client should sit with the back of one thigh on top of the foam roller and both hands on the floor behind them. The other leg is bent with the foot outside of the foam roller. Ask them to roll their hamstring from just above the knee to just below the pelvis. To increase intensity have both legs on the foam roller.
Feldenkrais Shoulder Spine Integration
Your client should side lie with a foam roller positioned under their head. Place the hips and knees at 90° angles with the feet placed on top of each other. Position the top hand on their forehead and ask them to gently rotate their head backwards and along the top of the foam roller. Return slowly to the start position. Perform 20 reps each side. Allow their head to rotate a little more with each rep and as you do so the outer arm will drop a little closer to the floor.
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