There has been a lot of back and forth for many years as to whether static stretching before or after running has the greatest benefit. The most recent evidence supports a dynamic activity-specific warm-up before running and static stretching afterwards.
Dynamic Warm-Up: Focused on movements throughout a range of motion that are specific to your activity. The aim is to prepare the body for exercise by increasing heart rate, blood flow and respiration rate while preparing the body for the movement demands of the sport. Dynamic warm-ups have also been shown to increase oxygen delivery and improve muscular strength and rate of contraction to enhance performance.
Static Stretching Cool-Down: Bringing a specific muscle or muscle group to an end range position and maintaining that position for a prolonged period of time. Static stretching has been shown to increase range of motion and muscular elongation and provides the most benefit when performed 5-10 minutes following exercise when the muscles are still warm.
The most recent research shows that the benefits of foam rollers include short-term improvements in joint mobility, decreased pain and reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness. Foam rolling can be used prior to exercise in combination with dynamic activities to warm-up connective tissue and temporarily improve joint mobility and decrease feelings of fatigue. When foam rolling after high intensity exercise, it’s been shown to reduce feelings of pain. A foam roller can also be used in numerous ways for adding an unstable surface to challenge stability and improve strength to your core, glutes and upper back.
Apply pressure and roll through the entire length of the muscle.
Use for 30 seconds to 1 minute for 2-5 repetitions.
It is believed that foam rollers increase blood flow to connective tissue and fascia in the area where applied and make temporary changes to muscle-spindle length.
Foam rollers create a window of opportunity [10 minutes] when used prior to exercise to increase mobility. So it’s important if utilizing prior to training, that it’s used immediately before fitness activity.
Common Treatment Areas
Gastrocnemius, Anterior Tibialis, Peroneals, Hamstrings, Iliotibial Band [ITB], Tensor Fasciae Latae [TFL], Quadriceps, Adductors, Gluteals, Piriformis, Rhomboids & Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi and Triceps.
Use the foam roller as a challenging surface in a variety of ways.
Make it more difficult by increasing hold counts, repetitions or sets.
Dead Bug Position, Unilateral Hip Flexion with Same Side Hand Resistance, Unilateral Hip Flexion with Opposite Side Hand Resistance, Marching, Unilateral Knee Extension, Unilateral Knee Extension with Reaching.
Bridge, Unilateral Bridge, Bridge with Two Foam Rollers, Unilateral Bridge with Two Foam Rollers, Bridge with Second Foam Rolled Out, Unilateral Bridge with Second Foam Rolled Out.
Foam Under Forearms, Foam Under Shins, Plank with Crunches with Foam Under Shins.