Add foam rolling to your workout and
riding routine and reap the benefits
of a DIY massage.
BY MEGAN ARSZMAN
s equestrians, we put up with a lot
What is Foam Rolling?
of pain. But what about the type of
pain that “hurts so good”? That’s how I would describe foam
rolling. Most athletes have a love-hate relationship with it,
but the love for foam rolling greatly outweighs the hate,
especially for this Fit Rider.
Foam rolling is basically like giving yourself a massage. It offers a myofascial
technique for muscles, especially in the lower body.
The foam roller is a cylinder that measures 6 inches in diameter and approximately 12 to 36 inches long (longer ones are used for the back). They can range
from a soft version best for beginners to a hard, dense foam. Some have ridges or
dots (recommended for more experienced users). You can purchase a foam roller
at any sporting good store, Target, et cetera.
Why Foam Roll?
Foam rolling can be used for warming up the muscles before a workout or ride,
and to relax them afterward. The rolling action improves circulation in your body,
which is what helps muscles warm up before exercise and recover afterward.
Do your foam rolling prior to stretching because of the warming action; rolling
breaks down any knots that could limit range of motion.
FOAM ROLLING TIPS
TAKE YOUR TIME.
Don’t rush; instead, slowly roll each
MORE TIME ISN’T NECESSARILY
BETTER. Aim for 20 seconds on
each tender area, and then move on.
REMEMBER TO BREATHE.
Stay relaxed while foam rolling. Slow
your breathing, quiet your mind and
listen to your body.
Drink plenty of water after a rolling
session to help hydrate, and thus
speed the recovery of your muscles.
Just as with any exercise routine,
be consistent with your foam rolling
practice and you’ll see the benefits.