However, they can be a great warmup tool as well. In addition to your warmup routine, rolling out on a foam roller is a great way to loosen up problem areas, increase mobility and prepare specific muscles for exercise. This can be a great way to obtain full range of movement or ensure you’re engaging the right muscles.
Many athletes new to squats have a hard time firing their glutes. They end up squatting predominantly with their quads and/or lower back. Rolling out the glutes and upper hamstrings is a great way to warm up those muscles and signal the brain to rely on them for the coming task.
Pro Tip: Got sore knees? Roll out your knees with a Rad Roller.
Between sets, rolling out can also be a good way to keep muscles warm while you wait for the next set. This is particularly helpful with long sets between heavier weights.
It’s good to know that there are at least two types of foam rollers (hopefully) in your gym. Soft and hard.
The hard ones are typically used more for balance or trigger point work (i.e. after workout) and the soft ones are ideal for this warming up. Hard ones tend to be black, while softer ones are either white or blue. My personal favorite for warming up are the blue, like this one.
- Talk to me about a foam roller (runnerjackson.wordpress.com)