Here is a great tip I learned years ago from Charles Poliquin. Get a foam roller and lie lengthways on it. Note: This is not for everyone. If you have any back or neck injuries/issues, be sure to check with a qualified and appropriate health care professional to see if this is something you should be doing.
Benefits of Lying on the Foam Roller:
Proper spinal alignment
|Photo credit: National Back Pain Association poster
This is important for the person hunched over a computer all day as well as someone who loads his/her spine with a heavy barbell. It decompresses the spine and improves functioning of the nerves that come out of the spinal column. This can improve performance. Charles Poliquin gets his athletes to lie on the foam roller prior to training and claims it allows his athletes to lift 2-3% more. Note: if you try this, do not lie too long as it can make you too relaxed. You don’t want to start a hard training session in what I call “spa mode”.
It is super relaxing, and especially when combined with deep breathing it is fantastic for recovery. I also find it great to do before bed as it really helps me wind down. This can enhance sleep quality which is one of the best things you can do for your recovery. And remember: better recovery = better training results!
- Get a good foam roller such as: Black High Density Foam Rollers - Extra Firm. While there are many to choose from, I recommend getting a higher-density one. The softer ones are okay for this drill, but they break down way too fast if you are using them for other foam roller movements.
- Try lying on the foam roller at night before bed. Shoot for 5-10 minutes per day. Enjoy!
- Warning: It feels so good, you won’t want to get off!
|Note: you can also just fold your hands comfortably over your stomach