You might be surprised to learn that sitting – at your desk, in your car, and on your couch – could be causing major muscle imbalances. It can…
- give you faulty posture – which can lead to orthopedic problems
- weaken your core
- make you more sedentary than you should be
- create lower-back pain
- make you less flexible
- cause weight gain
- create cellulite
- result in headaches and fatigue
- and even make you constipated!
Foam rolling, also called self myofascial release, is one way to help combat all these awful side effects. It’s like getting a very good massage. But you do it on your own, with a simple foam roller, a medicine ball, or a tennis ball.
Foam rolling can:
- help alleviate tightness in your muscles
- increase your range of motion in joints (such as the shoulder)
- decrease your muscle soreness
- keep your muscles at their optimal lengths
- help relieve joint stress
In other words, it can help you rid yourself of existing aches and pains and prevent injuries.
I have almost the entire staff of ETR – including Michael Masterson – doing it! Here’s how:
Put your bodyweight on the foam roller, medicine ball, or tennis ball. Move around until you find your tender spots or “knots.” Make sure to “massage” the sides of your legs, your butt, under your armpits and sides of the ribs, chest, calves, and your middle and upper back. When you find a tender spot, hold your position until 75 percent of the tenderness subsides. Then continue to slowly roll until you find the next tender spot.
To purchase a foam roller ($15-$20), go to performbetter.com, powersystems.com, or stop by Target.[Ed. Note: Yarixa Ferrao is the certified personal trainer and founder of “Get Fit in 6” who has been whipping some Early to Rise staffers into shape. Coach Yari’s e-course newsletter series explains the exercise and nutrition secrets that can help you burn fat. Click here to sign up.]