Building a Stretching/Foam Rolling Routine
by Robert Best
Everyone can probably add more stretching and soft tissue work like foam rolling into their day. The problem is that it can take as much time as a full workout itself. The solution: break up your stretching and rolling throughout the day.
While that sounds like it might actually be more difficult, it’s not as hard as it sounds and you may not even have to change your day-to-day routine much to fit them in.
Good times to stretch and roll:
- First thing in the morning while you either watch the news or wait for your coffee to brew
- Right before and right after your workout as part of a warm-up and cool-down
- Before you get to bed at night
If you just stretch and or roll for 5 minutes at every one of these opportunities where you most likely have a few extra minutes to spare in your day you can add up to 20 minutes of stretching and rolling a day!
Also, when you do stretch or use the roller, it’s not like you have to roll out and stretch your entire body.
Some rules for when you stretch and roll:
- If you have any chronic aches or pains, address those first
- If you are about to workout or just finished, focus on rolling and stretching those muscles involved with your workout
- You only need about 1-2 minutes of stretching or rolling on a given muscle
To get you started, here is a a little exercise that will help you build stretching and rolling into your daily routine. In the table below write down 5 times a week that you will stretch and/or roll.
The next week write down 6 different times, but they should be on different days. Then write down 7 times the next week but on separate days. Then add one more time a week the following week and doubling up one day for a total of 8 times. Continue adding 1 more 5 minute rolling session a week until you accumulate at least 20 minutes of stretching/rolling each day of the week.
Remember you can do 20 minutes all at one time, or you can even break them up into 5 minutes chunks (i.e. 5 min in the AM, 5 min before exercise, 5 min after exercise, 5 min before bed) See if you can stay consistent before adding more sessions.
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