Article and photo’s By Ed Joseph

Model Angela A.

It’s not just for your legs: These rolling patterns address trouble spots from head to toe.

Most educated exercisers have joined the foam rolling revolution. But while your IT bands may be more then familiar with the tool’s hurts-so-good loosening powers, limiting your journey to the lower body minimizes the overall body benefits. With that said Man-Up Bootcamp has designed this head-to-toe rolling regimen. Each of the following rolling patterns address the most problematic areas we have personally found in our athletes and other clients movement dysfunction and pain.

You should spend 30 seconds to a minute or more on each individual movement,and if it’s a regeneration or recovery day, take even more time, between 2 and 3 minutes for each move.

And there’s more to the technique than you might think read on for five most critical rules of foam rolling.

(1) Hydrate Ahead of Time. Even though foam rolling helps hydrate your tissue, you should down between 10 and 20 ounces of water beforehand, which helps prep the muscles for the work you’re about to do. “In general, hydrated tissue is resilient and pliable while dehydrated tissue is glued-down and sticky, which creates adhesions and movement dysfunction.

(2) Roll Before And After a Workout. Most of us wait until we finish a workout to hit the roller. Instead, scrapp static stretching and using the tool for your pre-workout warm-up. As much as it’s a recovery tool, the foam roller is also a preparatory tool,So think of foam rolling as a way to ‘smooth’ or ‘iron out’ the connective tissue and muscle. Foam rolling actually increases circulation so the connective tissue and muscle are getting more oxygen and water than if you just stretched.

(3) Slow It On Down. Foam rolling can hurt, and you’re only human. But speeding through each movement is a wasted opportunity. “The biggest misuse I see is others rolling extremely fast, most likely to avoid the discomfort of the roller,” we want you to go slow, purposeful motions. If we go back to the ironing example, a quick-moving iron will not apply enough heat and/or steam and the article of clothing will still remain wrinkled. The key is to focus on these painful areas because they need the most attention and desperately need oxygen, water, and nutrients.

(4) Move In Multiple Directions. It’s not just up-and-down, up-and-down. If you look at the angle of how the muscle and fascia attach, it’s not straight up and down—some fascial attachments run from front to back or in spirals. The key is to not only slow down the foam rolling, but also add side-to-side movements, cross-friction (rubbing the spot being rolled side to side on the roller) and flexing and extending the joint being rolled.

(5) Make It A Routine. Even on days that you’re not in the gym, foam rolling should be part of your repertoire. I try to use the foam roller daily as maintenance for my fascia,  it’s kind of like flossing—you need to do it every day to make a difference even if it’s only for 5 minutes. But deep cleaning is necessary, too. I think an important fact to remember is that foam rolling doesn’t take the place of a great massage or body working session.