Foam Rolling for Training Recovery and Fight Mobility
Muay Thai Guy’s Foam Rolling Routine and Tips
If you want to train forever, you need to master recovery.
Recovery is an aspect of training that is greatly neglected. This does not make sense. After all, would it make sense for an F-1 racer or Nascar driver skip car maintenance after a race or training? Would you, just as a person who drives, neglect oil changes and bringing your car to the shop every now and then? Probably not. Your body needs to be maintained and fixed. And there are few things as effective as keeping you injury free and building on your technique as foam rolling.
Foam rolling is better than stretching. In stretching, you’re always targeting a general area. You can only stretch your quad. You cannot stretch the middle of your quad in isolation. Furthermore, foam rolling can help improve your Muay Thai technique instantly, whereas simple static stretching cannot.
Powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters often use foam rolling (or myofascial release, if you want to get fancy) to improve their mobility in a position. For instance, can’t get deep into a squat? Foam roll the tight areas in your leg. Can’t hold the bar above your head in a snatch? Foam roll. Can’t active your glutes in a deadlift? Foam roll.
Now, let’s say that your kick seems to be angled weirdly. What to do? You guessed it. Foam roll. For more foam rolling tips and an entire routine from a Muay Thai champion, check out the video below:
“Pain is weakness leaving the body.” This statement applies perfectly to foam rolling. When you roll over an area and find it hurts, that means it’s tight. Ideally, you do not want knots (pain points) on your body. Knots mean tightness, believe it or not. And tightness ain’t great. But if you do not feel the pain with a simple foam roller, you may have to upgrade it.
There’s no better way to peak mobility than through foam rolling. But, of course, there isn’t just one level of foam roller out there. If the typical foam roller isn’t enough for you, a rumble roller will be the next level. It hurts more, thus it can make your more mobile. Think of the rumble roller as a foam roller but with a mountain bike tire’s studded skin. If you’d like to target more specific areas, as Sean said, a lacrosse ball works perfectly. If you’re a masochist, you can get a golf ball, but do NOT use the golf ball on a surface with low friction. You will potentially shoot your poor dog’s eye out.
Grab your foam roller, rumble roller, lacrosse ball, or golf ball and roll out any painful areas. Then shadowbox or hit the bag or pads immediately after. You will notice an instant difference. If you don’t believe me, try it.