Stretching and foam rolling is not just something to be left to athletes. We can all benefit from these activities. Stretching is the act of elongating muscles and tendons, while foam rolling is the act of self massage on the muscles by a foam roller. Together, these actions facilitate recovery.
When you should stretch:
-After a period of sitting
Why you should stretch:
-Improves blood flow
-Improves oxygen and nutrient flow
-Allows for lactic acid removal
-Helps relieve stress
-Increases range of motion
-Reduces risk of injurty
-Can reduce headaches
How you should stretch:
-Static stretch: slow and steady stretching, holding poses for 20 seconds or longer. Best done after exercising, upon rising, before bed.
-Dynamic stretch: quick and flexible stretching with movement. Best before exercise or a quick boost of energy
-Start from the neck down, stretching and warming up each muscle and tendon
-Carefully. Don't push what doesn't want to move.
So what about Foam Rolling? What are the benefits? Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.
Who should foam roll:
-Anyone seeking recover and repair
-Those who are in light pain from muscle soreness or tightness
Why you should foam roll:
-Increases blood flow, oxygen flow and nutrient flow
-Breaks up myofascial tissue
-Can alleviate tight spots
-Increased range of motion
When you should foam roll:
-Prior to exercise
-After sitting for a long time
In conclusion, stretching and foam rolling are a healthy additive to any routine. They both increase range of motion, blood flow, nutrient flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles. Always ask your doctor before performing stretches or foam rolling if you are unsure.
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