This Online Educational Phase #1 will take you through everything you need to know about foam rolling–a.k.a- Self Myo-fascial release and mobilizations.
The stuff highlighted in red has been added to this post. The black fonts was the original post.
Reason for that is we have changed a lot about our philosophy in regards to foam rolling and introduced mobilizations to our staff, clients, and newsletter readers.
The videos will go over the actual foam roller, Tennis ball rolling and lacrosse ball rolling. As well as our Phases of Mobilizations- As of June 2016, we have had 3 phases; and we will introduce a new phase of mobs every quarter. You can search the mobilizations on our Youtube channel here.
If you have questions about this lesson, please leave a comment down below.
Foam rolling is something that we started incorporating into our daily training since January 2012. I have personally been doing it since 2005. We ask that all of our Improvement Warrior Clients/Athletes (fitness, youth, yoga) come at least 5 minutes before class to get their rolling on!
10-15 minutes would be better. We also recommend everybody get one for their home as well. And for traveling (see pic below 🙂
We now recommend the same time entry before class but we want everybody doing a mobilization.
The ones we use in class are 18″, they also come in 36′ and 12′. They also make different types now including the rumble roller which is a spiked roller. I have since moved up to a pvc pipe, but you must start with the foam roller and go up from there.
In our mobilizations we still use the foam roller for quite a few mobs, however we just don’t use it in the traditional sense.
We call foam rolling REGENERATION work. It can also be referred to as Recovery. But one major reason to do it is, because every time you do a workout you are breaking the body down there has to be a release, if not your body and muscles will turn into a big knot or a bunch of little knots. These knots and trigger points restrict movement, performance, cause asymmetries in left and right movement patterns and muscle groups, and restrict breathing. All of which can lead to an injury or decreased functional movement.
I want myself and all of my clients to be able to move up until the day you die! And our foam roller is our friend when it comes to that. Foam rolling after a workout can be very beneficial to someone who is new to fitness and/or training with weights and strength training. However, the traditional rolling back and forth on a foam roller will only take your body so far and that is when you need to step it up to a mobilization or at least foam rolling 2.0 or basically SMASHING— not like the Hulk– will explain later.
We also call it the ‘poor man’s massage therapist.’ Because for $20-40 (add $8 more for a tennis ball and lacrosse ball), you have your own massage therapist, so to speak, that will lead to a lifetime of benefits.
Mobilization the term comes from the book Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett. It is the ultimate guide to pain resolution/prevention. There are over 100 different mobilizations in the book. Below you can see several of them. Every quarter we come out with a set of new ones that we think are of the NEXT most importance for our clients/athletes.
The term supple leopard came about because a leopard upon waking after 12 hours or more of sleep has the full capacity of it’s speed, strength, power, agility, dexterity, and coordination to do whatever it needs to do: hunt, kill, protect it’s family etc…….. Humans on the other hand, we wake up and usually hit the snooze bar 2-8 times, we need to stretch, we need coffee (well, most people do 🙂
It’s because of our inactive lifestyle that we need mobilizations. Dr. Starrett and myself beleive it is every human beings duty to perform 15 minutes of daily maintenaince on themselves to prevent the wear and tear of everyday life. We have approximately 110 years of healthy joints and movement, however that number can be severely reduced due to improper movement, mechanics, sitting too much, and not preforming mobilizations or maintenance on themself.
There is a mobilization for pretty much everything unless something is torn or broken.
These are most basic and global. Everybody should be doing these at least 3 times a week especially the Couch Stretch, Lacrosse Ball Smashing (glutes most important), and thoracic extension. Those are the 1st 3 we show all new client/athlete when they come in, and all new coaches and interns is required to be able to explain and perform.
Rolling with a tennis ball and/or lacrosse ball lets you get into crooks and cranneys that the foam roller cannot. It’s highly recommended on the butt area and hips and upper back, especially if you sit all day.
Foam Rolling can be done anywhere, anytime. Here is an article taken from LBN Online Strength & Fitness Workouts written by my wife Katie Yun:
While traveling back from a week in St John, USVI I happened upon a guy foam rolling in the middle of the airport. Oh wait, that was Jason who was foam rolling the middle of the airport. Yes, he’s a little crazy, but he knows the benefits of muscle rejuvenation. Have you ever heard of a foam roller? Before I met Jason I sure hadn’t, but now that I know all of the amazing benefits to foam rolling, I’m not sure how I ever lived without it! A foam roller is exactly what it sounds like–a piece of foam, in the shape of a cylinder, that you roll your body around on to iron out all of the kinks in your muscles. It’s a form of deep-tissue massage that improves flexibility, decreases muscle tension and pain, helps with performance and posture, and prevents injuries. It really does work wonders on sore muscles!
Each full-body routine takes less than 10 minutes, spending 15-30 seconds on body parts such as the quadriceps, hips, thighs, calves, gluteals, shoulders, triceps, and biceps—taking extra time for pressure points along the way.
As with all of Improvement Warrior fitness routines, the foam-rolling exercises have modifications for beginners and more advanced users. The only piece of equipment required is a simple foam roller, available at sporting goods stores or online. Jason has created a video show the proper way to foam roll and just how easy it is. I have incorporated rolling into my every day life and my body has never felt better. The video can be viewed online at
I hope you enjoy the benefits of rolling as much as I do! Believe me, once you start you’ll never look back!