Recovery with Foam Rolling
Your Chest Muscles (your pecs)
Reasons to consider mobilization (foam roller, lacrosse ball, trigger point cane, etc.):
- Muscle soreness in the chest from a recent workout
- Limited motion or feeling of a “block” during wide arm positions (e.g., giving someone a wide hug, pec flies, etc.)
- Uncomfortable slouched/forward-resting upper body posture
- Occasional numbness or tingling in arms/hands when sitting or working at a desk for extended periods of time
- Numbness or tingling in arms/hands during overhead motions (holding weight overhead, overhead press, etc.)
- Discomfort or pinching in the shoulder during overhead movements
- Frequent chest muscle spasm (pecs)
- Frequent mid-upper back muscle spasm (rhomboids)
How to foam roll the pecs:
- Let’s say that you want to foam roll your RIGHT pec.
- Lay down on your stomach and place the foam roller under the RIGHT side of your chest close to your shoulder, in a slanted position, pointing the top of the foam roller toward your chin.
- Use your other arm and legs to support your body weight.
- Gently allow gravity to bring your chest down into the foam roller, and then further intensify by pressing the front of your RIGHT shoulder down toward the ground. Avoid pressing the foam roller directly into your armpit as this can cause numbness and tingling out into the arm.
- Raise your RIGHT arm out to the side and rotate your palm up and down until you find a tender spot. You can also slowly fan your arm up and down a few inches (like you are a beautiful bird flapping your wings) to further pinpoint a tender spot. However you find it, once you find a tender spot, hold it for about 10-15 seconds!
- If you experience numbness or tingling in your hand while foam rolling, ease yourself off of that spot with the foam roller and readjust to a different spot of the chest.
- After you are done foam rolling, for a better-targeted stretch, try a pec stretch on the TRX! If you do not know how to do this stretch, ask a trainer to show you
- In general, mobilizing tissue using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, trigger point cane, or other instruments will cause some discomfort; after all, the goal is to mobilize (move or “free-up”) the tissue from any restrictions that might be limiting your body’s movement or range of motion. However, if you experience too much discomfort or pain, you should stop.
- In general, you should not attempt to mobilize (foam roll, lacrosse ball, trigger point cane, etc.) a recent injury that has occurred within the past 48 hours.
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by Nick April, coach at Bent On Better