>Foam rollers are available for purchase at local sports stores or online in a variety of densities, sizes and shapes to meet individual levels of comfort and tolerance. You may want to begin with a less dense foam roller and progress to a firmer roller as your tolerance increases. Although foam rolling may cause discomfort, it should never cause bruising. Always listen to your body and adjust as needed.
>Scuba divers can incorporate foam rolling before or after regular workouts. Prior to a workout, rolling may improve the warmup by decreasing the muscles' density and priming them for static stretching or your regular warmup and workout. Rolling after a workout may aid recovery by decreasing soreness while adding only five minutes to your routine. Stretching also strengthens the muscles used to support your body.
>Try to add foam rolling at least three times per week. Start as described, and slowly roll up and down each muscle for 30 to 60 seconds. When you hit a tender spot (trigger point), hold the muscle in that position for a few seconds until tension begins to subside.
- Begin in plank position with your upper thigh resting on the roller.
- Roll the length of your quadriceps, using your elbows to guide the movement. >
>Challenge: Try crossing one leg over the other and rolling the middle, outside and inside of each quadriceps.
- Begin with the roller under the shins close to the ankle.
- Lift and support your body while rolling toward the knee and returning to the starting position. >
>Challenge: If needed, add pressure by placing more weight on one leg.
- Lie on your side with your upper leg resting on the roller.
- Cross your lower leg over the upper thigh, with your foot resting above the knee.
- Roll from above the knee to mid-thigh.
- Begin in a seated position with the roller under your thigh.
- Lift your upper body with your hands directly below your shoulders.
- Roll the length of the hamstrings by moving backward and returning to the starting position. >
>Challenge: If you have sufficient strength, you can cross one leg over the other, placing greater tension on the roller.
- Begin in the same starting position as the hamstring roll, but place the roller in the middle of your calves.
- Roll the entire length of the muscle, stopping briefly at tender areas. >
>Challenge: Cross the feet to add more pressure to one leg.
- Lie on your side with the roller mid-thigh.
- Cross your top leg over while supporting your weight on the lower arm directly under the shoulder.
- Roll from the hip to just above the knee. >
- Sit on the foam roller.
- Cross one leg over the other, and lean toward the crossed leg to rest on the piriformis.
- Support your upper body with the same arm as the crossed leg. Roll over the piriformis, using a small range of motion.
- Lie on your back with the roller just below your shoulder blades.
- Bend your knees, plant your feet, lift your bottom and roll toward your head while supporting your weight on extended hands.
- Maintain a neutral spine: Don't strain or roll your neck. >
>NOTE: To avoid an increased risk of decompression sickness, DAN® recommends that divers avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours after making a dive. During your annual physical exam or following any changes in your health status, consult your physician to ensure you have medical clearance to dive.
>© Alert Diver — Q3 Summer 2018