Foam rollers are becoming a favorite tool for serious golfers of all skill levels. You may have seen foam rollers used more frequently, but if you have no clue how to use a foam roller or what the hype is all about, you might be left scratching your head. At AMPD Golf Fitness, we have embraced the use of foam rollers to help golfers recover better and restore proper movement.
First things first: what is the point of a foam roller? Think of a foam roller as a type of therapy. You should use your foam roller before and after a practice session, a workout, or a round of golf. As you work out and use your muscles, the connective tissue known as fascia becomes inflamed and restricts flexibility. The stickiness and build up in the fascia and muscle decreases blood flow in the muscle and can become slows recovery time. Therefore, not foam rolling can lead to serious problems for golfers because a golf swing requires both mobility and stability to stay healthy and play well. If the fascia becomes too restricted, you might develop unfavorable swing habits that hamper your ability to hit the golf ball effectively.
So how does a foam roller help prevent this from taking place? A foam roller is used to massage your muscles and help release the myofascial tissue that can restrict the movement of your muscles. If you have ever seen a foam roller, you can get a basic idea of where you can use it: on your back, the arches of your feet, your quads, your hamstrings, adductors—you get the idea. Where you can roll the foam roller, you can release the myofascial tissue.
There are many different types of rollers with varying densities of foam. Harder rollers are usually recommended for individuals who have used foam rollers before and understand how to use one. We recommend foam rollers by TriggerPoint. Solid construction and designed with athletes in mind, as well as portability for travel, TriggerPoint’s products are ideal for golfers. They also have great resources online on how to effectively use your foam roller, so if you are ever at a loss on how to use yours or want to get some creative new ideas, be sure to check out their website.
A few general tips on using foam rollers:
- Spend as much time needed sustaining pressure on tender areas. Rolling too fast is not as effective.
- Foam rollers should be used before and after a workout, but you can also use them even if you haven’t worked out that day. Think of it as a poor man’s massage.
- Travel with your Grid! Clothes can easily fit inside the Grid which helps with not taking up too much space.
- If you only have time to focus on a few areas, we recommend concentrating on your calves, glutes and hip flexors. These areas tend to need maintenance the most for all athletes.