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Foam rolling: explanation, techniques, and benefits

A foam roller can be your best friend. Is yours stashed in a closet or sitting somewhere gathering dust? Get it out! If you don’t have one, visit our friends and partners at Fleet Feet Austin. They’ll get you set up with what you need! Whether you’re training for an upcoming triathlon or exercising to stay in shape, proper foam rolling has many benefits. It can help you relax, prevent injury, and speed up your recovery. We’ll explain what foam rolling is, breakdown effective techniques, and highlight various benefits. 

What is foam rolling?

It is an SMR (self-myofascial release) technique that is designed to help you relieve muscle pain. Foam rolling is an excellent form of warming-up or cooling-down after swimming, cycling, or running. You should schedule a massage as needed and let a professional work out the kinks. But for all the in-between time, you should foam roll at home. It’s easy and can take less than 10 minutes.

Techniques

Foam rolling is an excellent way for athletes to recover after low- or high-intensity workouts. The best part? It’s very easy to do too! Here are a few foam rolling technique explanations to get you started. For more, refer to our handy downloadable PDF.

  • Lay down on the foam roller and gently put your leg on it; gradually use your bodyweight to regulate the pressure.
  • When you find a painful spot, hold the foam roll right there for a few seconds; gradually apply pressure for 10-20 seconds; continue moving up & down slowly.
  • Repeat the same process with all muscle groups, especially those most involved with the workout

Benefits

  1. Helps with muscle repair recovery

An easy way to speed up your recovery process.

Provides sore muscles with relief by breaking up lactic acid and increasing the flow of fresh blood to the muscles. It also helps reduce muscle inflammation. According to this study, 20 men foam rolled after a high-intensity workout. These participants reported a decrease in delayed onset muscle soreness. Not only that, but later on they performed better during an exercise than those who didn’t foam roll. Pro tip: proper hydration can also help with blood circulation. Learn about the different ways to carry hydration during your run.

  1. Promotes relaxation

Visit our friends at Fleet Feet Austin for all your foam rolling and recovery needs.

This is the most prominent benefit of foam rolling. A majority of athletes find it to be helpful in relaxing. How? It breaks down the tightness of the muscles, reduces inflammation, and even reduces stress. When your body feels good and your muscles aren’t sore you can concentrate better during the day and sleep better at night. Taking the time to foam will is even more beneficial after a brick workout, when you’re asking more of your body.

  1. Additional benefits

  • Relieves back pain
  • Improves flexibility
  • Increases range of motion
  • Reduces cellulite appearance

Foam rolling is the simplest choice to recover from sore muscles or to even relieve back pain. The best part?! It doesn’t take long and can help you recover faster before your next workout. However, we advise that you always be careful while performing this action. Don’t continue to roll an area if you experience sharp or prolonged pain. Consult with your doctor if needed.

Revealing the Truth About Ice Baths and the Benefits They Offer

We’ve seen or heard of athletes regularly dipping themselves into a freezing ice bath after a hard workout. However, what do we really know about the benefits these ice-cold baths have to offer? Take a look at some common benefits ice baths can have to see if you should try out an ice bath as you get ready for Rookie Tri!

What’s The Fuss Over Ice Baths?

Just like you’d ice a twisted ankle or strained muscle, cold temperatures have been proven to speed up the healing process within our bodies while also relieving pain. Ice baths benefit and relieve aching, sore, and inflamed muscles. They also limit the inflammation response that would usually occur which helps aid in a quicker recovery.

Ice baths are also thought to help with circulation. When you’re in an ice bath, your body naturally exerts more effort in maintaining its internal temperatures to continue functioning properly. Once you’re out of the ice and your body is no longer in contact with the cold temperature, blood flow increases allowing the body to maintain its recycling process. Increasing blood flow will help you sleep and make you feel better, physically, and emotionally. 

The Top 10 Benefits of Taking an Ice Bath

Ice baths are believed to improve the recovery from strength, power, and flexibility workouts, as well as recovery from muscle damage and swelling.

It is said that decreasing the local temperature after exercise helps limit inflammatory response, decreasing the amount of inflammation, therefore helping you recover faster.

The effects of submerging your body in ice also have a positive impact on the central nervous system. It increases the production of endorphins that affect a person’s overall mood.

This release of endorphins can also help you achieve a better night’s rest so you’re ready to go for the next training session!

The Right Way to Take an Ice Bath

Ice baths are useful for quick recovery between training sessions. In order to see results from an ice bath, it must be done right. Here are a few tips:

  • If your goal is to combat soreness or prevent your muscles from further damage, the sooner you get into an ice bath after a tough workout, the better.
  • While you’re at it, add in some post-workout recovery foods/drinks to really speed up your recovery time! 
  • How cold is too cold? The temperature of the bath should actually be between 50 and 59º F. 
  • An ice bath should last between 10 and 15 minutes at most.
  • Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you submerge your entire body in the water to get the effect you’re looking for. 

Why Should You Give It a Try?!

Ice baths are good for triathletes because they help your body stay prepared for the next workout. From speeding up recovery time to alleviating pain that could prevent you from your training, ice baths have some real benefits. So how do you feel about dipping yourself into an ice bath?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.