Foam Rolling: The Lower Body
This blog post is brought to you by Daniel Wilson Sports Injury Management. You can find us at www.sportsmassagescotland.com
What is Foam Rolling?
Though most people well have seen or, at least, heard of a foam roller, seldom do people know how to get the best out of them. When you unlock the secret of how to use the jewel of the self-massage industry, it will become your new best friend. When used correctly, it can help release the tightness and tension between the muscle and the fascia (which encases both muscles and groups of muscles). This tightness is often caused by repetitive movement patterns. Sports such as running is a prime example, but it can be anything in life that has a repetitive movement pattern. Incorporating a foam rolling session into your weekly workout regime along with stretches will not only increase both your flexibility and range of movement, it will also decrease your risk of injury.
How is it done?
With foam rolling, you use your bodyweight and roll yourself back and forth across desired area. Should you find this too painful, you can simply shift some of your weight elsewhere using your arms (away from where the foam roller is making contact with the body) and go a little more gently on it. Alternatively, you can go deeper by adding more weight to it by positioning more of your mass over the point of contact. By doing this, you will always be working within your own pain threshold.
Where is the Tibialis Anterior?
This is the outside portion of your lower leg which is often associated with shin splints. This is the muscle is responsible for pulling the toes up (also known as dorsiflexion), and is used when walking or running as a result of the ankle and/or foot being flexed. These muscles also there to stabilise the ankle.
How to foam roll the Tibialis Anterior:
Starting at the top of the muscle (near the knee), we then work down muscle and back up again. Some people do this in more of a kneeling position but as with all foam rolling stretches, you might need to adjust to target the muscle.
Where is the Soleus?
The Soleus is quite simply the large muscle in the middle-lower of the calf (found on the back of your lower leg). This is one of the two main muscles used to perform plantar flexion (pointing the toes down).