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Strength Strategy: Foam Roller

Massaging with a roller yields immediate gains

You’ll squat stronger if you use a foam roller before your workout. They break up scar tissue and adhesions—the knots within your muscles. This allows for more efficient muscle contractions and instant strength. Take these tips from JP Catanzaro, a strength coach and kinesiologist based in Ontario.

Lie on your side, resting the outside of your thigh on the roller (it should be perpendicular to your thigh). Prop yourself up on your free foot and elbow, using your weight to put pressure on the outside of your thigh. Roll from your hip to just above your knee. When you hit a painful spot, you’ve found an adhesion—stay on it for a few
seconds, then continue rolling.

Sit up with your right leg spread out to the side and the left leg bent so that the edge of your foot is on the floor and your heel is facing you. Place the roller under your left knee and roll back and forth. Apply extra pressure to your leg with your hands if you can.

“Foam rolling can help improve range of motion,” says Catanzaro. “It can also facilitate
better tracking of your knee.” Meaning that your knee will stay in line with your toes during each squat rep.

The Grid, a type of foam roller, is available at

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