Last year I worked with with Alicia Keys during their tour prep. It was an amazing experience! Since then I have worked with many bands, dancers and performers while they travel thru Los Angeles. During the AK tour prep, I was working with the dancers, band and crew; not only doing massage but also incorporating a lot of stretching in the routine I did. I also preached how important foam roller exercises can be, especially for the dancers. This blog post was written with the AK Tour team in mind.
If you have tight muscles, need a chiropractic adjustment, want to get deeper into stretches or just want to feel more loose, I have found that foam rolling exercises are key in your daily routine. My collection of foam rollers are considered to be my favorite self massage tools because I love how I feel after using them! I stretch out my back on it every morning, as well as my legs, hips, thighs and IT band (which starts at your hipbone and bum and goes down to the outside of your leg down to your knee. If your IT band is tight this can cause hip and knee pain, usually if you are physically active it is tight. But with the help of the foam roller you can stretch it out and keep it loose.
A foam roller helps work out and prevent knots in active muscles. The best way to work out knots and muscle tension is to hire a massage therapist, that’s where I come in handy! But the foam roller allows you to apply pressure with your own body weight against the foam roller to work out knots and kinks you may have.
Benefits of Foam Roller Exercises:
- Increases blood flow to the muscles- foam rolling allows the blood to flow faster to the muscles which can prevent injury.
- Helps prevent and treat injuries- helps keep muscles from becoming injured and allows faster healing because you are stretching the muscles that you may not otherwise reach or get to without a foam roller.
- Relaxes and smooths out muscles that are tight- Jillian Michaels said, foam rolling “irons out” muscles and cellulite.
- Increases flexibility- “the myofascial release of the muscles allows for muscle tissue to be thinner and less dense thus allowing for a more flexible muscle.”
- Avoid rolling over bony areas.
- Roll back and forth across the painful or tight muscle area for 60 seconds.
- Take some extra time directly over any knots or do trigger point yourself on the area.
- Foam roll the injured area 2-3 time a day. For prevention of injuries, 2-3 times a week is recommended.
- Always stretch the area following foam rolling.