Heather crushes her boof as Paul watches in fear . . . haha!

Photo courtesy of Blackfire Photography.

By now most paddlers are in the peak of their paddling season.  The weather is HOT, water is flowing and paddling events are happening every weekend.  With such consistent and intense paddling days on the water, our bodies need some "down-time"!

This is the period of time during our 'paddling training cycle' to work on maintaining the physical conditioning that we worked so hard on throughout the Fall/Winter. And, spending some quality time on release and recovery so that we can continue paddling (and paddling hard) day after day after day.

My "move of the month" is active Foam Rolling.  Foam rolling by definition is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique used by athletes and physical therapists to aid in recovery of muscles that are prone to being overactive. Fascia is the soft tissue portion of the connective tissue in the muscle that provides support and protection. 

Here are 5 things to know about Foam Rolling:

1.  Foam rolling should be done BEFORE your workout to improve the range of motion in your joints.  It can also be done afterwards as it is a good release for fatigued, sore muscles. 

2.  There are 5 areas of the body to focus your foam rolling on:

     *  Calves

     *  Hips

     *  Lower Back

     *  Lats

     *  Quads

3.  Take 3-5 minutes to foam roll these areas out BEFORE your workout.  Roll in any direction - up and down or side to side - whatever feels good.

4.  Avoid rolling over bony structures such as joints or vertebrae.

5.  There are many different types of foam rollers.  Go HERE to read a great article on how to pick the right one for you.

(PS - It's currently 100+ degrees, so YES, I foam roll in my bikini . . .haha.  Here I am rolling out my tight lats.)

Personal experience has convinced me that foam rolling is a necessity for everyone!!!  Consider it a FREE massage . . . and, give it a try. 

Heather Herbeck

Team Level Six


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