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If your new workout routine has left you with a few sore muscles, then you need to give foam rolling a try. The dense, spongy cylinders are like having a professional masseuse in your living room to work out every knot and reduce your risk of injury.

Laura Bordeaux, group fitness director at Seattle s Rival Fitness, demonstrates a foam rolling workout designed to massage your muscles and relieve tension. As a certified personal trainer, competitive runner, collegiate swimmer, adventure racer and rock climber, Bordeaux turned to foam rolling to repair her body after years of intense training.

Now Bordeaux preaches the benefits of the muscle massage to fitness newbies and pro athletes alike.

One of the biggest benefits is that foam rolling increases blood flow to your muscles.This warms you up prior to a workout and improves athletic performance.

It s also important to note that regular exercise builds up fascia, or fibrous tissue, in the body, which creates knots. No amount of stretching will makes these knots go away, but foam rolling helps break the fascia up. Therefore, rolling after a workout promotes muscle and injury recovery.

But even if you didn t fit in your daily jog, you can still benefit from foam rolling. In fact, it s a great way to de-stress after a day spent hunched over the computer.

Bordeaux s Top Foam Rolling Tips

  • Go slow! To get the most out of foam rolling, make sure you go slowly and work up and down the entire length of each muscle.
  • It s going to hurt, and that s OK. According to Bordeaux, the tightness in your muscles will make foam rolling uncomfortable, similar to getting a massage. The good news is you will feel much better after all that tension is released. Plus, the more you roll, the less it will hurt.
  • Remember to relax. Melt your muscles into the foam roller and take deep breaths throughout the exercises.

Workout How-To

  • Bordeaux recommends five to 10 minutes of foam rolling both before and after a workout.
  • Roll each section for one to two minutes and go slowly. When switching between moves, Bordeaux likes to stand up and walk around for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Don t forget you can foam roll anytime you feel muscle soreness. It makes a great workout while watching TV!

Bordeaux offers foam rolling seminars at Rival Fitness. Check out their website for upcoming dates.

SLIDE SHOW: Foam Roller Workout

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