Are you the type of person that avoids recovery after every workout or wants to go home to your couch and chill?
Well then this is the post for you!
Ever wonder why we recommend foam rolling for your cool-down following a grueling workout? Do you ever feel like your body is “crumbling” or excessively stiff and weak 24 hours after an intense workout?
These feelings are likely due to several things happening during that workout. Most often, during high-volume, intense exercise, you are experiencing a small amount of muscular disturbances called exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). This minimal damage is responsible for making you stronger and faster when paired with proper recovery tactics. However, when you don’t recover properly through stretching and myofascial release (foam rolling), this damage can accumulate and cause greater injuries and/or soreness preventing you from being able to train consistently throughout the week. Ultimately the damage done to the muscle can decline performance.
A recent 2020 study sought to determine the effects that foam rolling has on the body following moderately-intense exercise programming. The study measured muscle soreness, pain threshold, quadriceps strength, and joint position sense immediately, 24-, 48-, and 72-hours after exercise and compared that to individuals that did not participate in foam rolling following exercise (passive recovery). What they found was that the foam roll participants had less muscle soreness, greater pain threshold, greater quadriceps strength, and more accurate joint position sense. Meaning, foam rolling showed great benefits to those athletes participating in regular post-exercise foam rolling compared to those that simply went home to their couch after the workout.
Foam Rolling 101
- Foam roll immediately after your workout. If you plan to do it at home, chances are it won’t get done.
- Find that “tender” spot and sit on it for a minute OR bend/straighten that body part while you sit on that spot.
- Find different ways to attack the same spot. Use a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or even a barbell!
- Don’t be afraid to ask your coach the best way to work out the kinks in your body!
So, why do those things matter to you?
Consistent recovery will keep you lifting, running, and playing with your kids for longer periods through your life without more frequent injuries looming over your head. We are here to not only make your life better through exercise, but also through the way your body recovers after that exercise!
So the next time your coach recommends getting in a cool-down or doing some foam rolling, you may want to give it a try! Let us know how your body feels after consistently doing some rolling for a week or two.
— Coach Brooke
To read the full study, click here. PMID: 31855077