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The Sneaky Benefits of Using a Foam Roller

Le 17 novembre 2017, 02:49 dans Humeurs 0

In our quest to get physically fit, we employ a large number of tools and pieces of equipment in order to get in shape. For high performance athletes, this could be something as expensive as a stim (EMS) machine (ranging from $800-1000) to help boost recovery. For others, it means expensive trips to see a massage therapist. With appointments coming in at around $100 an hour, this kind of recovery work can quickly become expensive.

Fortunately, there is a recovery tool for athletes and gymgoers alike that is both cheap, accessible, portable, and can be used anytime and anywhere. It’s your friendly neighbourhood foam roller.

Here are just some of the benefits of using a foam roller:

You increase bloodflow to a target area. Foam rolling is a form self-myofasical release, but like a massage therapist, you can use it strictly to generate more blood to a specific area, which helps flood the target muscle and ligaments with fresh, nutrient-rich blood.

You speed up recovery. By picking up on of the best foam rollers on the market you are also giving yourself the ultimate fitness recovery weapon. The ability to send fresh blood to specific areas means that they are going to heal and recover faster. This is why studies that have focused on the post-workout benefits of foam rolling have been the most significant (pre-workout foam rolling not so much). If you have another workout planned out for tomorrow (or even later today), spending some time on the roller after your session will help kickstart recovery and healing.

Foam rolling decreases muscle soreness. One of the most debilitating parts of working out (especially when you have been out of the gym for a while) is the delayed onset muscle soreness that hits us the following day (or two in some cases).

It’s a cheap and effective weapon for your workout goals. The foam roller is laughably versatile. You can target whatever you want. It’s remarkably cheap. You can pick up a roller for $20ish dollars, and they come in varying densities and depth (for you particularly muscle-dense athletes out there, consider a Rumble Roller). Whatever it is that you want to accomplish in the gym, the use of a foam roller will help you recover faster, save a metric ton of money, decrease muscle soreness, and most importantly, help you bounce back for another crushing workout sooner.

Final Thought

Working out is grueling. You don’t need me to tell you that. With all the hours and sweat that you invest into the gym and into your body, the foam roller is one of the most effective ways to make sure that you are recovering quickly, that next-day soreness isn’t crushing you and keeping you from working out, and can even help you to encourage blood-flow to target areas to help reduce inflammation and injury. So what are you waiting for?

4 Ways For Swimmers to Swim Fast This Year

Le 13 octobre 2017, 23:13 dans Humeurs 0

Ready to level up your racing and practices in the pool? Forget the big motivational lists, there are only a handful of things that you truly need to make an out-sized impact on your efforts in the chlorinated water.

Here are four things that you can do to immediately boost your swimming this year in the water:

Read up on the sport. Fortunately, with the world wide web being all wide and all, there is a metric heap of swimming-related content out there to help you swim faster. One of my favorite places to read about all the things high performance when it comes to competitive swimming is over at YourSwimBook. The author, Olivier Poirier-Leroy, writes about mental training for swimmers, nutrition and diet, features a long list of swimming workouts, and much. The swim articles that he posts are directly targeted at competitive swimmers, and it’s written from the point of view of a swimmer (he’s a former swimmer himself).

Balance technique and conditioning. It’s hard to balance the two. I can understand, as a lifelong swimmer I always found myself being tugged between wanting to spend more time on my technique, with lots of drills and emphasis on sculling and better body positioning, with wanting to do lots and lots of high-powered and exhausting training that tested the limits of my physical capabilities. The reality is that excellent swimmers have a way of focusing on both things. Although technique should always come first when trying to improve, it is also something you don’t stop focusing on once you hit a level that you deem proficient. With water being all resistance-based and all, the big challenge will always be finding ways to be slip through it with less drag.

Set goals for your training. When swimmers talk about their season and the year of swimming ahead of them, it’s usually in the context of what they want to achieve at the big championship season meet in the summer. Whether it’s breaking a record, qualifying for a particular team or squad, or just beating a personal best time, when swimmers set goals it’s typically only down to the results. An easy way you can get more out of your swimming, both in practice and more importantly when you step up on the block, is to set yourself mini and short-term goals. Doing so will help keep you focused on the here-and-now, keep you more engaged during your swim practices, and most happily, help power up those championship swims later in the season.


Track your workouts. One of the simplest things you can do to almost immediately improve your training is to start monitoring and tracking what you are doing in the pool. Sure, it might seem like extra effort—and for what? A bunch of sets and workouts on paper? But tracking your workouts in the pool give you an invaluable point of reference, showing you where you are at, what you are currently focused on (it’s not always what you think), and serves as a means to highlight what you can be doing better in the pool (ahem, hyper-improvement typically follows suite!). Now, the options for how and what to track can begin to feel overwhelming. There are a heap of waterproof fitness trackers for swimmers on the market now, but I’ve always found the simplest solution to be the best: a pad of paper and a pen. Actually having to write out your sessions (how old school!) will reinforce what you are doing, and give you a sense of self-awareness that is difficult to fake otherwise.

Two Ways to Make Lap Swimming More Enjoyable

Le 17 août 2017, 04:06 dans Humeurs 0

The benefits of swimming for exercise are many and similarly awesome. The water provides you a low gravity environment, making it easy on your joints. There is an endless variety of sets and workouts that you can do in the water. And you can target either your whole body, or your upper or lower body, making it handy for training around injury.

That being said, lap swimming does have its drawbacks. Lap swim schedules are not always very consistent, with swim teams and lessons often commandeering lanes. There is the “yucky” aspect of the fact that swimmers will freely admit that they urinate in the pool.

And then there is the whole boredom aspect of it. Unlike land-based sports, you are fairly limited in your environment. And if you are training on your own, it’s just you and the black line. But there are things that you can do to spice up your training.

Here’s just three of my favorites.

1. Listen to music.

For a long time, listening to music while working out was limited to those in the gym and those on the field. Music was limited to the PA system, which, depending on the musical tastes of the lifeguard working on deck, can vary from total silence to overplayed top-40 music. Now, I’m not saying that listening to music is necessary for an awesome workout, but it sure can help on those days where you are doing an epic number of laps. Thankfully, there are some pretty good options available now for music. I covered some of the best underwater and waterproof MP3 players recently, and while the quality of the more popular units varied, there is something there for everyone, no matter what kind of earphone you prefer. The winner-winner-chicken-dinner in my review was the FINIS Duo because it doesn’t use any earbuds at all. It conducts music straight through into your cheekbone, removing the need for earphones altogether.

2. Count your strokes.

This is an old school trick that can pay dividends big time in the pool. Counting your strokes is literally just that—count the number of strokes you take each time you cross the pool. This will give you something to focus on while you are training, which can help you with the whole boredom thing. But counting your strokes has another powerful benefit—it gives you a target number of strokes to beat each time you swim a lap. When your number goes down—and it always does with better technique and improved conditioning—you will be able to see in measurable terms that you are getting better. Counting strokes over the course of a full swim workout can be monotonous, and leave you feeling overwhelmed with a lot to remember, so consider strapping on a waterproof fitness tracker. When trying to find the best waterproof fitness tracker for your swimming make sure that it counts your strokes. Many of the Garmin swim-designed watches perform this function

The Takeaway

The sport of swimming has given me a lot over the years. It has given me improved fitness, an awesome set of friends, and a rockin’ bod. Using these two tools will make your lap swimming even more fun, more productive, and dare I say it, help it go by even more swimmingly!

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