Photo courtesy of bodybuilding.com
Boost your gains with this awesome method.
Getting gains isn’t simply about hitting the gym hard. It takes a multifaceted approach in order to see the results of some torturous training. It’s a combination of work ethic, diet, and most important of all recovery. If recovery is the name of the game then foam rolling is definitely a method that should be considered. At first glance foam rolling may look like some weird ritual, one that has little to no benefits for the bodybuilder. A piece of foam is the key to getting more gains in the gym? Really? Even though it may seem a bit unlikely, may even seem a bit odd, the foam roll does have it’s uses that can greatly benefit any athlete including the bodybuilder. Sure, it doesn’t look like the most manly thing to be doing, but that doesn’t mean the process doesn’t work. Even the current Mr. Olympia champ claims to use the foam roller before workouts. When a fan asked The Gift on Twitter: What can I do if I can’t afford deep tissue massages or chiropractic visits to help with recovery – Phil simply answered use a foam roller.
So just why the heck should you be foam rolling in the first place? Let’s take a look.
The number one reason you should be foam rolling is because of the recovery that it offers. The process is known as self-myofascial release, which sounds like a term that an experienced personal trainer would use. In fact it’s a more complicated way of saying a self massage, one designed to release muscle tension and treat trigger points. When you batter your muscles as much as bodybuilders are prone to doing then you’re going to need anything you can think of to boost your recovery. The faster you recover, the faster you’ll find yourself back in the gym.
Improves Range of Motion
Another great benefit of foam rolling is that it can increase range of motion. ROM is perhaps one of the most important aspects of training that ultimately translates into great gains. ROM in the muscles and joints allows you to attack a muscle group more thoroughly. For this reason alone foam rolling is a major aid in your training. Full ROM will ultimately mean you can perform heavier lifts while utilizing all your muscle fibers. Foam rolling is integral in allowing that to happen.
When Should You Be Foam Rolling?
So now that we’ve established that foam rolling is pretty damn useful, just when the hell should you be doing it? Well, foam rolling can be used at multiple different times during your training, but for the most part utilizing the method of self-myofascial release works best before and after your workout. Before a workout it can be used warm up the muscles that are about to be thrashed and afterwards it can be used as a great cool down method that will ultimately promote quicker recovery.