Foam rolling the shoulder can improve performance and prevent pain.

It’s the time of year where all the club volleyball players are heading into their final stretch as they prep for the provincials at the Tradex in Abbotsford.

That typically means that the icepacks, kinesiotape, and rub A5-35 are out in full force to enable top performers to continue to play despite pleas from their shoulder to stop.

Enter the foam roller. Foam rollers are common, but are rarely used to their full effectiveness on the shoulder.

Here are 3 of my drills when foam rolling the shoulder:

Foam Rolling the Shoulder:

In the same way that brushing your teeth doesn’t prevent the need to visit a dentist; foam rolling the shoulder can never replace proper physiotherapy treatment for a true injury.

If you have a real injury, go get it checked out by a professional (Mylee from Physiostation does a great job if you are looking for someone).

In the meantime, make these 3 drills for foam rolling the shoulder part of your routine in order to improve performance and reduce pain.

When Should I be Foam Rolling the Shoulder?

If you are just using these drills for injury prevention, then do most of your foam rolling the shoulder after practice or between matches. Intense foam rolling can temporarily blunt the nervous system which may decrease performance in the short term.

The gains in flexibility and tissue quality in the long run (30-60+ minutes later) make it well worth it, but the initial response (0-15 minutes after rolling) have the potential to slow the arm down temporarily.

If your shoulder is in pain, however, don’t hesitate to add these drills for foam rolling the shoulder prior to, and during games. Reducing pain will boost performance significantly more than any of the drawbacks.

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