Improve Recovery = Stronger Muscles
Without a doubt one of the most overlooked factors in most workouts is recovery and many of us go through agonizing muscle and joint pain without implementing a good solution to reduce the pain.
Recovery gives our bodies time to regenerate after the stress applied during exercise. This is especially important for your muscles, because every time you work them out, you’re actually tearing them.
It’s then that as your muscles heal they increase in strength and size. Adequate recovery is essential to this process, and will actually lead to better results.
Even if you’ve already prioritized your recovery, you may not have realized the utility of a foam roller.
This simple fitness tool can do wonders for your muscles, offering an effective means of self-massage that totally boosts recovery. Plus they can help you better manage back, knee, and hip pain.
If you find you’re sore a lot after your workouts (or just in general), this tip will be one you’ll be really happy you came across.
So if you haven’t yet pick up a foam roller, and give these simple exercises a try. If you’re looking to get one for your home, this one is the best one I’ve ever come across since the grooves help provide release for your tight muscles – Go Fit Foam Roller.
5 Easy Foam Roller Exercises to Enhance Recovery
Foam Roller Exercise #1 – Upper Back
For this first one, place the roller on the floor and rest your upper back against it, so that it’s pressing against your shoulder blades. Plant your feet on the floor with knees bent (note that your buttocks and lower back should be lifted off the floor). Place your hands behind your head and engage your core muscles. Slowly roll back and forth on the roller, so that it moves between your middle and upper back. This is a great one for upper back pain.
Foam Roller Exercise #2 – Lower Back
Scoot up a bit, and now rest your lower back on the roller. For balance, rest on your forearms behind you, so that your upper back remains off the ground. Your feet should remain planted in front of you. Slowly roll back and forth, massaging your lower back.
Foam Roller Exercise #3 – Quads
For this one, you’re going to turn over so that you’re facing the floor, and rest your quadriceps (thighs) on the roller, just below your pelvis. Support yourselves with your palms on the floor in front of you, with your upper torso and legs held above the ground in a straight line. Holding your body on a single plane, use your hands to roll yourself back and forth, allowing the roller to move along your quads.
Foam Roller Exercise #4 – Glutes
Turn face up again, and sit on the roller with one side of your buttocks only, with the other side lifted up slightly (the idea is to put more pressure on one side than the other). Balance yourself with your hands on the floor behind you and the opposite foot against the floor. On the side of your buttocks that you’re working, extend your leg forward and off the ground to ensure that the pressure is focused on that side of your glutes. Slowly move back and forth, allowing the roller to massage your buttocks. Repeat on the opposite side.
Foam Roller Exercise #5 – Hamstrings
Remain face up and resting on your palms behind you, but place the roller under your knees. Your legs should be extended straight out in front of you, feet off the ground. You should also be holding your buttocks off the ground. Slowly push back and forth, allowing the roller to massage your hamstrings. This last one can easily be repeated on your calves as well.
In general, you want to start out by doing these foam roller exercises a couple times a week. Eventually, you can work up to doing them after every workout. Make sure you get your form right, and work from there.
Looking for other effective ways to improve recovery?
Yoga is another way to engage your body in more flexibility training, improving results and avoiding strain and injury. Check out this Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit – it’s a great way to get started!
Have any questions or feedback about these Foam Roller Exercises? Please leave a comment below…