It’s National Foam Rolling Day!
That’s a thing, you say? Yep, we did too. But it is, in fact, found on the National Day Calendar every year on May 11th.
While we are not going to argue the evidence based benefits of foam rolling (there isn’t much) we WILL argue its use for massage. Some call it the “poor man’s massage”. Or maybe it’s the “I don’t like someone else massaging me” massage. Whatever your flavor, we can argue that it is a useful self massage tool and we know that massage IS helpful for short term pain relief.
The National Day Calendar justifies it like this: “You only go to the dentist once a year, but you brush your teeth every day. While we can’t get a massage every day, foam rolling offers the next best thing! Brush your muscles daily with a foam roller.”
Or at least once a week…we might argue that it’s more important to diversity your muscle care, (strengthening…!!) but foam rolling definitely has a place in that! For the industrial athlete, you must make the most of each opportunity for daily recuperation and foam rolling is an excellent addition.
Foam rolling will not cure an injury but if your injury happens to come with some muscle aches, this could be a good option. If you only associate foam rolling with cringing facial expressions, let us remind you that it should NOT be painful. It may be uncomfortable, but the end result should be RELIEF from pain, not additional pain.
Other benefits you may find when reading about foam rolling are things like helping to reduce stress, increasing range of motion, increasing flexibility, and decreasing inflammation. Does it actually do all of this? Maybe? It seems to at least provide short term effects that certainly justifies the efforts. At least give it a try-what do you have to lose?
Here is a routine that we love for the upper body which only includes 1 actual “rolling” exercise. The other 2 use the foam roller to elongate a stretch and mobilize the muscles around the neck. Your postural muscles will soon thank you and you will be relieved that none of this should include any cringing!