WAC Magazine

August 2012

Issue link: http://cp.revolio.com/i/76076

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Getting Fit By Sara Moser, WAC Personal Trainer Roll with it I Foam rollers help work out the kinks f you've been to one of the Club's fitness areas recently, you may have noticed many members using foam rollers. These simple devices offer a low-tech way to ease pain and improve the way you feel. Although there's no replacing regular massages for ultimate muscular benefit, foam rollers can help fill the void between trips to the spa. The use of foam rollers helps provide soft-tissue therapy and myofascial release, which decreases dense and overactive muscles that can cause pain and injury. By using your own body-weight on foam roll- ers, you can help prevent injury and increase your sports performance, strength training and everyday life. Foam rollers come in many different sizes and densi- ties. The two most common rollers are three-footers and one-footers. Whichever length you choose, the roller will be constructed of dense circular foam. The density itself should be determined by your fitness level, age and comfort. The basic rule of thumb is the more dense the muscle the more dense the roller. Generally speaking, three-foot rollers tend to be easier because of their larger surface area. What you're looking for when using a foam roller are As Sara Moser shows, foam rollers work well on the upper legs. sore spots or "trigger points." By rolling these areas, you can help ease pain and provide relief to tight muscles. Though foam rolling works on many areas of the body, rolling the lower extremities may be the most beneficial because the lower body has more-dense muscles. The most common areas to roll are: General guidelines call for 10 rolls per muscle group but preferably until any pain decreases or disappears. • Calves • Hamstrings • Quadriceps • Gluteal muscles • Hip abductors • Iliotibial band (I.T. band) • Upper back Like stretching, foam rolling can be uncomfortable or even painful. But foam rolling should never cause bruis- ing or increase pain after you are done. Though many fitness experts rec- ommend foam rolling before exercise to help promote a better workout, foam rolling post-workout may help in muscle recovery and soreness. My rule of thumb is to foam roll whenever you're more likely to actually do it— whether before or after exercise. Also, don't use foam rollers as a replacement for massage, which pro- vides hands-on advantages you won't get on your own. Instead, add foam rollers to your established routine and make a habit of working the places that cause you the most problems. The extra time it takes should prove more than worth it in the long run and lead to better movement and overall quality of life. MORE ONLINE For more guidance on foam roller exercises, check out online bonus content at wac.net/athletics/fitness-tips. Sara Moser is a WAC Personal Trainer. Reach her at 206.622.7900, ext. 3719, or smoser@wac.net AUGUST 2012 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | 23 BRIAN FRANCIS

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