About a decade ago, Foam Rollers were like this weird foam piece of equipment that most athletes had no clue how to use. Today the Foam Roller is more readily available, but there is still one problem…Most athletes do not know how to use one.
Here is a brief explanation of not only what a Foam Roller is, but how, when, and why you should use it:
What is Foam Rolling? Foam Rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that is used by athletes to inhibit overactive muscles. This form of stretching improves soft tissue extensibility, but also relaxes the muscle to allow activation of the antagonist muscle
How do I use a Foam Roller? To apply the techniques are very simple. Foam Rolling uses pressure on a specific surface of the body. You should always apply pressure to sensitive areas in their muscles that are called Trigger Points, or knots.
The use of the Foam Roller has taken us from an acupressure approach to my reason from Foam Rolling which is self-massage. The roller is now usually used to apply longer more sweeping strokes to muscle groups like the calves, adductors, and quadriceps. You may also use it in a small directed force on areas like the TFL (Tensor Fasciae Latae), hip rotators, and glute medius.
Lets first get this out in the open...A proper Warm-Up is just as important for any BJJ athlete as technical drilling and rolling. Most of the time, I look at some people when they are warming up and they look like they are going through the motions. They are talking about their crappy day at work, how the wife charged way too much on their credit cards, or just about football. These will most likely be the same people that now have to miss training because of injuries.
The primary purpose of a Warm-Up is to elevate the body temperature and prime the neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems for optimal performance, but also get your mind focused on the training session that you are about to be put through.