How to... roll away the pain

AFC Wim­ble­don’s first-team fit­ness coach, Jason Mo­ri­arty, has five ex­er­cises to speed up your re­cov­ery af­ter a game, with a lit­tle help from foam rollers

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

Calves

Rolling around on a bit of sponge might look like a laugh, but there’s a rea­son why play­ers of­ten do it straight af­ter a match. “Re­search has shown mus­cle sore­ness peaks at 48 hours if you don’t foam roll, but at 24 hours if you do,” says Mo­ri­arty. “Rolling in­creases your range of mo­tion so your legs get fresher faster.”

Quadri­ceps

Run­ning, twist­ing and turn­ing causes stiff­ness in your legs. There’s an easy way to give them some much-needed TLC. “Play­ers per­form about 54 de­cel­er­a­tions in a 90-minute game, which re­duces the range of mo­tion of your quads. Rolling them with a long, slow sweep­ing mo­tion loosens them up.”

Ad­duc­tors

Sprint­ing and whip­ping crosses into the penalty area will fire up your ad­duc­tors but can leave them feel­ing sore. Strad­dle your roller to sort them out. “Rolling should be done in three por­tions: just above the knee to work the bot­tom end of the fe­mur, then the mid­point and fi­nally to the top third near the groin area.”

Ham­strings

Kick­ing off your work­ing week with burn­ing ham­strings is no fun. Even worse, dam­aged ham­mies can in­crease the risk of in­jury. “A full range of mo­tion is vi­tal for per­for­mance gains and avoid­ing phys­i­cal prob­lems – a firmer foam roller will help to give you bet­ter re­sults.”

Glutes

If you spend your Sun­day morn­ings giv­ing de­fend­ers twisted blood, your glu­teus medius mus­cles will take a real ham­mer­ing. “It’s a key area to roll be­cause the glutes di­rectly af­fect the mus­cles in your lower back. To do it ef­fec­tively, roll back and forth in short pulses.”

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