If foam rolling is bad - what's the alternative?Elle X
Why You Shouldn’t Be Foam Rolling
‘What! I shouldn’t be foam rolling???’ I hear you say. That’s right. Have you spent time ironing out your tight, tired achy muscles on foam rollers and golf balls. Only to find the freedom and looseness only lasts a couple of days, a week at the most and then you’re right back to square one – tight, tired muscles. The cycle of foam rolling begins again…..
Have you ever wondered WHY you are on this cycle? Let me enlighten you. Muscles can feel tight and painful if they are short and tight or long and week. Imbalanced muscle, long or short, often result in the same feeling – tight, achy muscles.
If you release muscles that are long and weak you can further exacerbate the imbalance. All you are doing with the rolling is making the muscles weaker and the opposite shorter. If you release an overly tight muscle without strengthening and balancing the opposite the muscle groups the result is that the released muscles will have to tighten up quickly to support the body – back to the beginning.
If you hedge your bets and just roll everything you are creating a short-term change in the body which will bounce back once you start moving around again.
What should I do to help balance my body?
Swap your thinking around. Stop thinking about the muscles and start thinking about bones. First of all there are a lot less bones than muscles to think about. You can absolutely affect the muscle quality by moving the bones, after all muscles attach to the bones. ‘Hang on a minute Elle, this is all getting a bit technical’. Let me show you.
Notice in picture the pelvis position is very tilted which is a very common body position, (fun game – start spotting in your day to day life when you find yourself and others in that position!). The areas in red are the muscles that are short, the ones in blue are on length.
How many of you suffer from tight hamstrings? How many of you spend a large amount of time stretching or rolling them? Take a check back at the picture, do you fall into a resting standing posture like this one? If so you could be making your tight hamstrings a whole lot worse. Starting to make a bit more sense?
Do you find yourself foam rolling the blue muscles?
But foam rolling feels sooo good!
‘Why is this the case?’ Are you familiar with the motto ‘No Pain, No Gain’? Come on, we all are. If you and your brain have associated getting better and progress with this motto, foam rolling is going to feel great!
It will feel like you are getting closer to your outcome of soft supple muscles by reducing the knots and increasing the blood flow to the area, as well as flushing out the waste products.
The problem being, as soon as you get up off the ground, pop the foam roller by the side you are walking in the same old bony postural setup and the same old muscle imbalances.
Its not all doom and gloom, in the next blog post we will look at how to begin to balance your muscles in a much faster pain freeway. Sounding too good to be true? I promise you it is not. This has not only changed my clients lives it’s completely changed the way I work and what I now advise.
Until next time …
Knowledge is absolutely power but only when ACTION is taken