IN THE REHAB ZONE

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Booker Q&A: “How do you use foam rollers?”

In my blog post about foam rollers, Jackie asks the following question:

“How do you use the foam rollers?”

Jackie, thanks for asking such a great question.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words so I in order to provide you with a very descriptive response, I went to the ever-trusty video-sharing website YouTube and found a pretty good video demonstrating how to use foam rollers.

The video I found, which you can see below, demonstrates the four key areas that need to be targeted:

  • Hamstrings
  • Calf and Soleus
  • Quadriceps
  • Lower Back

The techniques demonstrated in this demonstrate are right on and should be copied exactly to form.

Foam Roller Exercise Video

Key points not mentioned in the video

Although the above video is quite good, here are some key points about the use of a foam roller that are NOT mentioned:

  • Differences between a tight and overactive muscle
    Always remember, there is a difference between a TIGHT muscle and an OVERACTIVE muscle. I will go into much greater detail about this key point in a future blog post, but for now, all I want people to remember is if a muscle is TIGHT, you stretch it. If a muscle is OVERACTIVE you have to relax or release it.

Without getting into medical jargon, the major point I am trying to make is that a foam roller releases an overactive muscle. The person in the video even mentions the term myofascial release which a foam roller is. They slightly confuse the point by repeatedly calling it a stretch. In any event, just remember this modality is a release and not a stretch.

  • The take away lesson
    The take away lesson is that YOU CAN RELEASE A MUSCLE TOO MUCH! And if you release a muscle too much, it will actually rebound and become OVEREXCITED all over again, and this spells trouble for the athlete.

Therefore, utilizing the forms demonstrated in the video, the recommended use of a foam roller is 3-4 times a week, allowing a day off between uses.

Enjoy the video and thanks again Jackie for reading this blog and participating!

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