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Foam Rolling Quads – Recovery for Results
Why should you be foam rolling quads?
Is there a real benefit to doing so?
Can you go your entire life without ever foam rolling your quads — and other muscles?
Well, yes, that is the simple answer.
But, should you go your whole life without doing so?
In my opinion, the answer to that is an unequivocal NO.
For those of you squatting heavy weight, you need two things: a Dark Iron Fitness weightlifting belt and a foam roller.
The belt will keep your form in check, your body safe, and the foam roller will speed up recovery.
In this post, we will talk about the importance of lifting and training safely, properly and following up with recovery.
Of course, lifting and diet are two of the most important things you can focus on, but the quality of lifts and targeted recovery is equally important.
Consider these tips if you have never thought too much about recovery and stretching.
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What is a Foam Roller?
Different Types of Foam Rollers
Foam rollers are exactly what they sound like — a roller made of foam.
There are several different types of rollers on the market with different purposes.
Standard foam rollers come in many different lengths but have the same general properties.
You’ll have the white foam roller, which is lower density, smooth and gentle to use.
The black foam roller will usually be the same in composition but molded with high-density foam.
Both of these standard rollers are great for beginners to foam rolling.
In general, foam rolling will be slightly uncomfortable or painful.
However, this pain can also be soothing.
It is a good pain if you know what I mean.
Once you are more familiar with foam rolling, there are firmer, more intense styles of roller out there.
The grid roller and rumble roller are two that work well for intermediate and experienced foam roller users.
A grid roller is very firm and will have gridlines and occasionally nubs that are used for trigger points and the relief of tense muscles.
The rumble roller is completely covered in the spiky nubs.
There are firm and extra firm rumble rollers and these will be extremely painful to basically everyone, but especially beginners who have no experience using a roller.
Usually, the firmer the roller and more trigger point activators it has, the easier it releases tense muscles and knots in the muscle.
There are also roller balls made of plastic or dense foam and smaller rollers that have handles to target specific areas of muscle more directly.
For your legs, especially your quads, firmer and more dynamic rollers will be able to break down the tense muscles better.
Below: How to Foam Roll Your Quads and Control Pressure
Related: The Best Foam Roller For Beginners
Why You Should Use a Foam Roller
Using a foam roller is an all-around good idea.
Recovery is very important after vigorous exercise.
The primary recovery routines that people perform are stretching and sleeping.
Occasionally things like heat therapy or cold therapy will be used (ice baths, hot baths).
However, foam rolling and deeper muscle tissue recovery aren’t as prominent.
A lot of people will feel instant benefits from foam rolling their quads and legs.
Foam rollers are great for targeting any muscle tightness and knots.
Use the roller as a tool to eliminate these issues that will consistently arise from heavy lifting.
Your back, hips, legs, neck, shoulders, and arms will all thank you later for the positive time spent on recovery.
Let the foam roller be a source of better mobility, stronger future lifts, and shorter recovery time and tension.
Below: Jeff Cavalier Demonstrates Foam Rolling Techniques and Mistakes to Avoid
Foam Rolling Quads
How to Target the Quads
Foam rolling quads is a super great foam rolling technique.
Your legs will be very grateful for treating them with this recovery method.
The easiest way to target the quads is by starting face down in a push-up position.
Place the foam roller horizontally across your lower body, starting up towards your hips.
Then, roll yourself up and down the foam roller, targeting your quads.
You can angle yourself slightly left and slightly right to hit all the areas of the quads.
With the quad roll, you’ll feel your quads getting relief, but it may feel too subtle.
This is because when using a standard roller, you aren’t getting enough pressure and weight on the roll (besides bodyweight).
One option you have to target your quads better and more intensely is to do single leg quad rolls with all your weight on one leg or with your other leg folded over to add more pressure.
Another option is to use rumble and grid rollers that target trigger points and dig deeper into the quad muscles.
Lastly, if you aren’t getting enough relief by yourself then you can have a friend foam roll your quads for you.
This is done by having someone put another roller on the back of your leg while you are face down rolling, and they roll along with you from the opposite side.
Think of it like squeezing a tube of toothpaste from both sides — you’ll get all those knots and tension out from all the pressure applied.
Related: 10 Ways to Use a Foam Roller
Benefits of Targeting Entire Lower Body
The biggest benefit of targeting your lower body with a foam roller is the faster recovery.
After a hard leg day, you’ll notice your legs get tight immediately after.
However, the next day and usually two days after is when the real soreness and pain comes with a vengeance.
Basic stretching will help a lot with this pain and so will something like an ice bath or heating of the muscles.
But, foam rolling quads, calves and the entire leg immediately after the workout is super beneficial.
I would recommend foam rolling the following days as well, to keep the muscles supple and avoid any tightness or locking of the tissue.
The other important things to remember for lower-body recovery is to stay hydrated and use something like the Dark Iron Fitness weightlifting belt to help with injury prevention.
Your biggest benefit from foam rolling quads and lower body, in general, is that you should be hitting your quads and legs often while working out, so you’ll need to help them recover.
Foam rolling your quads and lower body doesn’t really apply to those of you who skip leg day — so don’t skip leg day!
Related: What Muscles Do Lunges Work?
Importance of Recovery and Foam Rolling Quads
The biggest importance of recovery is you’ll be conditioned to continue working out.
There is nothing worse than wanting to be consistent with your fitness routine but be hindered by muscle soreness, tightness or cramping.
When you have the ability to get back in the gym, day after day, then you will see results faster and be able to progress continually.
In the gym, most people spend too much time focusing on results and lifting as heavy as they can.
People tend to think less about health, recovery, safety and proper lifting.
If you add an emphasis on these other factors in the gym then your longevity in lifting will be much better than those who neglect them.
Let your recovery work for you and help you move towards more gains, more lifting and more muscle.
Why You Should Be Foam Rolling Quads, Glutes, Hips and More
You should be foam rolling quads and other areas like the glutes, hips, and calves to keep your lower body fully recovered and loose.
The more mobility you have in your legs the better you can perform lower body exercises.
Lunges, squats, kettlebell swings, and basic machine movements like leg extension will be easier.
For those who do heavy squats and are looking to eventually squat heavier and heavier, you should definitely consider foam rolling.
The more you foam roll these areas of your legs, the better chance you have of lifting heavier or squatting more the next time you’re in the gym.
Don’t let those muscle fibers break down and heal in a knot or become a cramp waiting to happen.
Get yourself a foam roller, foam roll your quads, hips, glutes, and calves.
I guarantee you’ll feel a difference in the way you recover and in the way you perform.
But, don’t just stop at your quads and legs — you can foam roll elsewhere as well.
Use your foam roller to target all the areas that need relief: your back, arms, shoulders and even your pecs.
Related: 5 Best Foam Rollers For Your Back