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Feb 12, 2018

What is a Foam Roller and How to Use it

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A physically active lifestyle can be terrific for your body. And with any type of exercise your body can experience tension and muscle tightness.

There are various ways to relieve that sore feeling in your muscles. Yoga, stretching, cryotherapy and more. One other inexpensive and simple way to speed-up muscle recovery is “foam rolling”.

Foam rollers are exactly what they sound like. A cylinder-shaped tube made of foam that can be up to 3-feet long. Used by professional athletes, coaches and therapists to break down trigger points (knots) that have formed in muscles. Using the foam roll also helps prevent lactic acid build-up while improving blood flow.

So how do you use it?

The real answer is however you want, but you can use a foam roller on your upper back, lower back, neck, obliques, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, chest and arms.

Here are some instructions on how to use the foam roller on the previously mentioned areas:

Upper Back

Set the foam roller on the ground and press the middle of your back on it. Use your feet to bring your knees toward your chest and then fully extend again. This will focus the pressure of the foam roller to release the tension in the middle of your back, your upper back and the lower part of the back that connects to the glutes. By leaning to one side or the other, you can also apply more pressure to a specific area of need.

Credit: Ty Sechler and Nikki Fontana at TBC Overland Park 148th

Hamstrings

Set the foam roller on the ground and place your hamstrings directly above it. Push your shoulder blades back and use your arms to prop yourself up (like you’re going to do a crab walk). Use your arms to push your body weight back and forth, massaging the hamstring area. For added pressure place on leg on-top of the other and change the angle of where your leg touches the foam roller.

Quadriceps

Set the foam roller on the ground and position yourself in the push-up position, with the foam roller directly below your quadriceps. Use your arms to push the foam roller to the hip and back down to just above the knee. For added pressure widen your hips and alter the angle of the foam roller and it hits the quad.

Credit: Ty Sechler and Nikki Fontana at TBC Overland Park 148th

 

These are just three exercises that can help improve your flexibility, muscle recovery and blood flow. And the best part, foam rollers are very inexpensive coming in around $25 on Amazon.com.

See if your TITLE Boxing Club has a foam roller you can use prior to class or after your power hour!


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