Batman vs Superman, Lakers vs Clippers, Stretching vs Foam rolling…who is the best?
People would consider stretching as a great thing to do at the end of a training session in the old days. You now hear a lot about foam rolling in the modern fitness industry.
But what are those techniques really about and how to use them best for optimal results?
Rule #1: Foam roll for 5/10 min after workout. What is that? It can be seen as hitting pressure points to release muscle tension. This allow the muscle to cool down and repair How to foam roll? Whatever area you are rolling, make sure to use other body parts to balance your movement. Do not “fall” on the foam roller or sit on a lacrosse ball.
For example, make sure to have your right foot and your hands on the floor while rolling your left thigh. Use those anchor points as a base for the rolling movement. Also effectively engage your core so as to not let your body fall on the foam roller.
Rule #2: do not stretch right after an intense workout. Wait 3 to 6 hours to let muscles cool down then proceed to active stretching.
Rule #3: use active stretching techniques. This means don’t just pull on your muscles, bones and tendons until they snap, but rather engage your muscle as deep as you can with small movements and holds to reach a wider range of motion. Proper breathing technique must also be mastered to get the best out of any stretch.
For example: stretch your right quad standing up, grab your right foot behind you with your right hand, bring your knee in front of you, engage your core muscle and tilt your pelvis (active tension) and pump your foot back/downward while tilting your pelvis forward. These opposite dynamic forces will highly release muscle tension. Exhale while pulling foot back, squeezing pelvis. Rep 3/5 times each leg, repeat 2/3 times.
- Don’t stretch right after an intense workout
- Foam roll/massage sore areas after workout
- Use active stretching to gain mobility, do not just pull on your limbs to stretch,
- Breathe properly.