We’ve all been there: you can barely sit down thanks to those squats on Tuesday, you’ve got a shuffle because your calves are so tight and it even hurts to put your hoody on. Welcome to the pain of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMs).
On the plus side - if you’re this sore it means you’ve been working hard! But I’m betting you’ll be wanting to get rid of that ache ASAP.
One option is to resort to the foam roller. The technical term for this is self-myofascial release and it’s a massage technique used by many athletes, coaches, trainers and physiotherapists. It’s a good alternative to static stretching for increasing your range of motion and the majority of of studies suggest that it does help to reduce post-workout soreness.
When to foam roll
You can use this form of massage prior to a workout to improve flexibility, or after a workout to reduce muscle soreness and promote a quicker recovery. All you need is a self-massage tool, like a foam roller or tennis ball. You can pick one up for about $20. We also have them in the gym.
How to foam roll
Foam rolling basically involves lying on the ground, with the foam roller placed between your sore body-part and the floor. You then roll backwards and forwards over the foam roller. Make sure you use an even tempo, with slow movements in each direction.
For example, if your hamstrings are giving you hell, sit on the foam roller, put your hands behind you on the ground and then move back and forth so that the roller is moving up and down your upper legs. There are some great tutorials online to help you target other specific sore spots. If you need some more tips - just ask.
And if you’re worried about adding time to your workout - stretching out is well worth it and you’ve got no excuses because you can foam roll anywhere, even in your lounge while watching Shorty Street.