Why Your Foam Roller Is Letting You Down
IQBODY’s Professional Muscle and Movement Therapist Reveals How Your Foam Roller May Not Be the Best Solution for Muscle Recovery.
With 2020 FINALLY behind us and the bright new year ahead, things are looking up.
January is a beautiful time of year for so many reasons — Chilly weather, the NFL playoffs, and of course, New Year’s Resolutions.
You know, that thing we tell ourselves we’re about to commit hard to. And we do…
For about 23 days, give or take.
Then, it’s right back to where we started.
We must hold ourselves accountable to the goals we set for ourselves and use them for motivation!
So what is it that you want to resolve this year?
Data shows “working out more” and other health-related goals dominated in the U.S. as the leading New Year’s Resolution.
This comes as a big surprise to absolutely no one.
There are a few things that are certain in this life: Death, Taxes, and Fitness Goals for New Years.
One easy way to improve your chances of reaching your goals is to provide yourself with the proper tools and techniques required.
When the surgeon says “Scalpel,” don’t hand him a banana — Tools are important.
And the same goes for your fitness goals.
The first few weeks after firing up a new fitness regimen are usually associated with added fatigue and stress.
As you start your new routine, you feel that seemingly never-ending SORENESS in your newly developing muscles!
As your body adjusts to these new demands, proper muscle recovery methods and techniques are essential.
And it’s about this time that the foam roller enters the picture – A staple in the fitness community.
You’ll usually see one rolled up in the corner of the physical therapist’s office. And your massage therapist probably uses foam rolling as a form of trigger-point therapy.
But as we’ll find out, oftentimes foam rolling can do more harm than good. Today, we’re going to cover the downsides to foam rollers, foam rolling techniques to avoid, and discover a muscle recovery alternative that will make you forget foam rollers ever existed.
What is a Foam Roller Used For?
Most foam rolling techniques place pressure evenly distributed across a muscle or muscle group. The pressure comes from the user’s body weight.
Its intended use is to aid in muscle recovery by helping unwind and release tension in the fascia constricting your muscles.
Within the world of physical therapy, we use specific foam rolling techniques to help reactivate and restrengthen entire muscle groups as well.
What Are The Downsides to Foam Rolling?
Other than the fact that it feels like the prototype of a medieval torture device, if you don’t follow proper foam rolling techniques, you will be in a world of pain and can do some pretty severe damage to your muscles.
Hardcore foam rolling enthusiasts will tell you that this pain is necessary to accelerate muscle recovery and the healing process. But let’s set the record straight…
PAIN IS NOT A GOOD THING!
Pain is your body’s way of saying, “Hey! I’m not digging what’s going on right now! Let’s make it stop!”
The trick is to find an alternative to a foam roller that will achieve muscle recovery goals without the self-inflicted agony.
We’ll go into detail on that in a moment.
Foam Rolling Mistakes to Avoid
When using a standard roller, make sure to avoid these mistakes carefully:
- Going too fast: Try to maintain a nice, regular, slow speed. Experiencing pain can sometimes make you try to speed up to get through the exercise more quickly. Racing through the movement diminishes returns and adds more injury risk.
- Hyper focusing on one spot: Don’t just roll over the same area over and over because it’s the sorest. Instead, emphasize hitting the connective tissues around that spot and try to work toward it slowly.
- Working one muscle for too long: Outside of the pain, foam rolling can go from helpful to harmful quickly. Staying in one spot for too long can lead to bruising, nerve damage, and inflammation.
Maybe your hip flexor has been giving you trouble and you decided to pick up a foam roller to work it out.
Or perhaps your massage therapist may have “strongly advised” you to pick up a foam roller from the store to help with the trigger-point therapy you’ve been receiving.
Or maybe you’re a full-blown masochist and enjoy the pain that the rolling provides.
Regardless of your reasoning, using the proper foam rolling techniques is critical for your safety.
But we believe there’s a better solution…
Your Healthy Alternative to Foam Rolling
At IQBODY, we have teamed up with muscle and movement therapists to replicate all of the best parts of foam rollers and studied how we can improve upon the technology.
And we did just what we set out to do, bringing the WAVE5 to the world to change the way we go about our muscle recovery routines for good!
Now, let’s talk about fascia for just a second.
Fascia are those tight fibrous tissues that encase our muscles.
When these fasciae become wound too tightly, we feel pressure and discomfort.
What is trigger point therapy?
Trigger-point therapy, a service commonly provided by massage therapists, is the art of finding these zones and applying the perfect amount of pressure with a hand or elbow.
This motion will unwind and relax that area, and the pain will seemingly vanish! Pretty neat stuff.
For some, trigger-point therapy is considered invasive or too painful. As a result, they avoid asking their massage therapist to perform it on them, and seek out alternative treatments at home.
A foam roller will place flat pressure on these zones, with your entire body weight pressing down.
Picture a steamroller cruising down the street.
But instead of crushed concrete and pavement, it’s your fascia and nerves.
Sounds pretty destructive, right?
Trigger-points are often very small, isolated areas that require precision to reach.
Your massage therapist will use a firm hand, knuckle, or elbow to reach them.
So why would you use a large, broad, and flat surface?
The WAVE5 represents everything a foam roller wishes it could be.
Our innovative five-in-one-design allows the WAVE5 to adapt to whatever your needs may be.
We focused on creating a surface that was harder than muscle but softer than bone.
This level of firmness represents the sweet spot that allows for a healthy level of muscle penetration. It reaches past the superficial connective tissue and fascia without harming your body.
Say goodbye to the excruciating pain that made you dread your post-workout routine.
We believe it’s essential to find a healthy balance between “Feels really good!” and “Ow, that really hurts!”
The WAVE5, with all of its components, is designed to find the healthy level of pressure in the middle that will aid in your muscle recovery without the added suffering.
At IQBODY, we refer to this as the “feel-good pressure”, and it’s what we’re all about.
A body in pain is a body that’s telling you something. Listen to it!
Stop Rolling on the floor crying, and start Pulsing on the floor laughing!
The key to avoiding pain and allowing optimal muscle hydration is a technique called Pulsing.
What is muscle pulsing?
To Pulse is to apply a constant stream of consistent pressure, eliminating the need to roll back and forth.
This motion makes for:
- Increased control of the pressure applied
- Increased relaxation, focusing less on rolling and balance and more on breathing
- Instant pain relief and quicker muscle recovery
- Increased muscle hydration
Muscle Hydration is the theory that pressure applied to a dry area will result in fluids being pulled to the site, increasing muscular function and balance.
This hydration is crucial to achieving your muscle’s maximum potential.
Remember back when we mentioned how necessary tools are to achieving success? WAVE5 is five tools bundled into one brilliant design.
- Tidal – Mobility ball
- Curl – Two Pin & Stretch Domes
- Stream – Lacrosse ball sized roller
- Ripple – Golf ball sized roller
- Drip – Aggressive trigger-point tool
- Drop – Less aggressive trigger-point tool
Each component of the WAVE5 has its own unique function, designed to reach anywhere you need it to and induce muscle hydration.
Access to a system like this allows you to save HUNDREDS of dollars at the physical and massage therapist!
Pain-Relief and Peak Performance Go Beyond the Gym
The WAVE5 muscle hydration applications go beyond the gym!
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “Sitting is the new smoking.”
It’s no coincidence that heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the United States, and the obesity epidemic seems to be a losing battle.
We all know the harmful effects of sitting on a chair or couch for long periods. Who honestly hasn’t binged an entire season of a Netflix show in one sitting before?
But what can WAVE5 do about it?
One of the most frequent uses of the WAVE5 muscle recovery system is releasing upper and lower back nerve pain such as Sciatica.
We would also suggest research into different “Active sitting” methods, which involves finding creative ways to engage other muscle groups while being seated.
If you’re interested in some more information or methods of practicing active sitting, we have an in-depth routine and breakdown here for you.
So, What Are You Waiting for?
2020 was brutal, but it’s over.
2021 is here. And with it comes new challenges.
At IQBODY, we’re ready for them. All of them.
Our New Year’s resolution is a simple one: To help you with yours!
Every single one of us wants to be happier and healthier and to have a body, mind, and spirit connected as one and working correctly together.
Whether you’re looking for something to help with that soreness you’ve been experiencing or reverse some of that pain from sitting in the cubicle all day, WAVE5 is here for you.
It’s time for some “out with the old and in with the new”.
Let’s toss 2020 and that old foam roller in the trash together.
Crush your 2021 resolutions with the WAVE5 muscle recovery system, and see just how bright your future can be!