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Foam Roll for Recovery

To fight soreness, some of my favourite recovery modalities include going for a swim, sitting in an infrared sauna and foam rolling. Yet only one of those can be accomplished at home, inexpensively, in just a few minutes.

Nobody knows exactly why foam rolling works the way it does, but it's basically tool-assisted soft-tissue manual therapy. When you're doing new or higher-intensity activities that can cause pain and soreness, foam rolling can help alleviate the discomfort. In addition to pain reduction, it also helps you maintain your range of motion, so you don't really get stuck and move differently because of tightness or soreness.

Foam Roll for Recovery

Foam rolling has benefits if you do it before a workout ... or after a workout. Or first thing in the morning...or when you're winding down before bed. Notice a theme? The point is, when you do it doesn't matter as much as that you do it and how you do it. A lot of people find success rolling first thing in the morning, since that way it's done for the day, while others like to pair it with a workout, because then you're already focused on your body.

Ideally, you should spend 10 minutes foam rolling every day. Some people try to breeze through just 20 seconds on a tight spot, but you're not going to get great results that way. Instead, spend that 10 minutes focusing on a few different spots that have the most restrictions.

Below are a few good places to start, where people typically experience the most tightness or movement restrictions:

1. Thoracic spine (mid-back).

2. Glutes.

3. Quads.

4. Calves.

Figure out the best time of day for you to grab 10 minutes to foam roll. If you're not doing it after a day or two, try picking a new time. By devoting just a few minutes a day, you'll feel better and keep up your ranges of motion.

Foam Roll for Recovery

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Foam Roll for Recovery

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