Physical Therapists in Fishkill, Dutchess County, NY

Foam Rolling: What Is It Good For?

Due to the high levels of stress our bodies endure during both athletic and recreational activities, it is an all too common occurrence to experience soreness and performance decrements, sometimes up to 72 hours after the activity. This soreness in part is due to a process our muscles go through in order heal and recover after performing increased physical activities, and is a constant focus in both the athletic performance and rehabilitative fields. The technique of foam rolling has grown increasingly popular over the last several years as we gain further understanding of its potential benefits regarding both recovery and athletic performance.

Currently, there are two main protocols with regard to foam rolling and how to achieve the most benefits: foam rolling prior to activity, and foam rolling after activity. According to current research, foam rolling prior to physical activity has shown temporary improvements with individual’s flexibility, ROM, blood flow, and endorphin levels, all of which serve to improve physical performance and decreased risk for injury during that bout of exercise.

Alternatively, foam rolling after physical activity has been shown to improve an individuals inflammatory response, decrease musculature excitation, and improve post activity blood flow, all of which help to speed up recovery and decrease post-activity soreness. Due to the potential benefits of foam rolling both prior to and after activity, the most successful inclusion of foam rolling in a recreational or athletic program is during both the warm-up and cool-down periods of exercise. Proper technique with foam rolling is imperative in order to receive the most benefits both prior to and after activity, so check out this month’s Exercise Of The Month video for further details on the most effective method for foam rolling.



The 3 Keys to a Safe & Effective Warm-Up Routine

It’s that time of year again!! It’s officially 2019, and with every New Year comes newly formed resolutions that help us strive to be better than we were in our previous year!! If your New Year’s resolutions include getting back to the gym and attempting to live a healthier lifestyle, then learning the proper way to warm-up prior to physical activity will not only help improve your activity level and achieve your resolutions, but will also reduce your risk for injury as you start this year. All of us at Harrison Physical Therapy want to show you how to properly structure a generalized warm-up in order to help achieve your New Year’s goals.

A proper warm-up should include these three parts in order to gain the most benefit prior to physical activity:

General non-fatiguing activity:

This typically includes activities such as light jogging, elliptical training, rowing, static bicycle training etc. for anywhere from 5-10 minutes at a moderate difficultly level.

The purpose of this portion of a warm-up is to help increase heart rate, increase blood flow to working muscles, increase musculature temperature, and begin perspiration.

These activities help prepare the body to perform movement more efficiently, thus decreasing the risk for sustaining a musculoskeletal injury.



This is where an individual will perform stretching activities for the specific muscles that will be used during the activity such as hamstring stretching, calf stretching, gluteal stretching etc. in order to help allow for improved ranges of motion prior to physical activity, and therefore decrease an individual’s risk for injury.

Stretching activities are typically performed for 30 seconds and repeated between three to five times for each muscle group. (*Note: For individuals participating in higher level activities or athletic events, dynamic stretching is the preferred method for improving mobility prior to activity, and would be performed at this time. Check out this month’s Exercise of the Month video for more information and examples*).

Sport or activity specific movement:

This is where an individual will perform the specific movement they wish to train that day, but at a much lower intensity than during their actual workout. This portion of a warm-up is typically performed directly before the training activity, and the purpose of this is to prepare an individual for the specific activity demands during that workout.

The sport or activity specific portion of a warm-up is typically performed for 1-2 sets at low to moderate intensity. For example if an individual is performing a bench press then beginning with 2 sets of 10 repetitions of a lighter load prior to beginning the workout will help prepare their body for the demands specific to that activity, thus decreasing that individual’s risk for injury.

Final Notes:

It’s also important to note that the benefits of a proper warm-up do not last forever. Typically there is a transition period of five to ten minutes between warm-up activities and workout activities in order for the benefits of a warm-up to be sustained. Waiting longer than ten minutes will allow both your heart rate and the blood flow to working muscles to decrease, thus increasing an individual’s risk for injury when performing new or increased physical activities.

Don’t forget to check back every month for more information on physical activity, injury prevention, and health care.

Thanks for reading from all of us here at Harrison Physical Therapy.