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Total Body Wellness: The Secret to a Great Recovery

Total Body Wellness: The Secret to a Great Recovery
After a hard workout, sometimes you just know it's going to be bad news in the morning. But our fitness columnist has good news for you with this secret tool the pros use to recoup faster.


If you've ever walked out of the gym feeling like you're in desperate need of a good massage, turn around and go back inside. Don't worry, your workout is still done. What you're looking for is a long, cylinder shaped foam roller.

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The foam roller is the best recovery tool for your muscles, but it's important to know how to use it. Below are four classic roller movements to get you started on the road to recovery.

 

Chest.

  

Right now you're either sitting at a computer reading this or scrolling through your phone. Because so many of us use this posture so frequently, most people have extremely poor posture. Our pecs are pulling our shoulders forward, creating loads of tension in our upper back and shoulders.

 

To stretch out those pecs, position the roller lengthwise down the spine from neck to tailbone. Fully outstretch arms and relax shoulders around the roller. Hold for several seconds.

 

I.T. Band

  

Your iliotibial band always can use a good roll out. It's that strip of connective tissue that goes hip to knee and is the hidden cause of a lot of "knee pain." It's prone to overuse and hard to get a deep, good stretch. Lie on your side with the roller on your quad. Holding yourself up, slowly walk your hands until the roller reaches your hip. You'll end up repeating this one a few times on each side. It's an awesome stretch.

 

Shoulders and Back

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Everything from posture, stress and of course physical activity can leave your shoulders and back in knots. The best way to get after these bad boys with the foam roller is to lie on your back with the roller underneath you. Roll from your low back all the way to your neck, moving yourself with your feet.

 

Shoulder Mobility

 

Maintaining flexibility is important no matter what you're doing. When you see those "Which way to the gym?" guys, it's pretty obvious they've focused solely on strength training and functional movement is really lacking. Keep those shoulders in great condition by positioning the roller lengthwise down your spine. Bring one arm completely overhead and shift the roller to the opposite side. Hold a little less than a minute, and then switch sides.

 

Spending at least a few minutes doing these movements after every session at the gym will cause you to recover faster and feel less sore on your non-workout days. Recovery is a large part of reaching your goals and can be as important as workout days. If you don't properly recover after a workout, you'll be more prone to skip subsequent workouts.

Ashley Berlin -

Ashley Berlin is the health and fitness columnist for Cincy Chic and the owner of BEAT Personal Training in West Chester. Want more information about something you read here? Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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