First let’s start with the basics: Why foam roll?
Foam rolling can give you the upper hand in recovery. Doing it before exercise helps loosen up your muscles and will get some of the soreness out by getting rid of any knots.
Foam rolling can also be done after practices or games to help prevent future knots. You can roll at any time, and as often as needed. Which is a huge benefit compared with other recovery methods, like cupping and muscle scrapping, that can only be done every other day.
The keys 🔑 to foam rolling:
🔑 Roll slowly over the muscle.
🔑 Maintain pressure on the knot/pressure point for at least 30 seconds, then roll back and forth over the spot.
🔑 Revisit the pressure point and hold it again for 30 seconds, then reroll back and forth over the knot.
🔑Repeat as many times as possible until the spot feels better.
🔑Use a softer roller on the IT band.
The don’ts 🚫 to foam rolling:
🚫 Don’t move quickly over the muscle. Moving too quickly prevents the pressure of your body weight from getting to the muscle. And without that pressure, the muscle will not be able to loosen up, and your knot will not get worked out.
🚫 Don’t spend less than a minute or two on the muscle. Otherwise you will not have spent enough time to really work out the knot.
🚫 Don’t roll out your lower back! Stop foam rolling right around where your rib cage ends. We do not want to put pressure on our spine.
Next time you have practice, or a game give foam rolling a try. Bring your foam roller to your next tournament and try these tips. You will definitely feel the difference, and your friends will want to borrow your foam roller!
About the Contributor: Sam Murray is one of our very own Lady Baller Ambassadors! She plays outside back at Alvernia University and is currently working towards my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has her 3v3 and 7v7 U.S. Soccer coaching license and currently working her way up to get her D license.