Activation, Mobility and Rehab for Advanced Muscle Building and Strength Training

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You’ve probably heard of using foam in the weightroom. Previously, you might have only thought of using it for resting your knee on, while your stretching your hip flexors.

Well, a recent talk with Mike Hanley of HanleyStrength.com changed that.

He told me that he had his clients marching on thick foam to help with their knee and hip problems. He said Louie Simmons had told him about it. How he has been using it for activation and rehab purposes.

It is also well recognized in the powerlifting community that foam can also be used on the box squat, and we will talk about this too, later in this article.

Now, this of course got me thinking about other uses of foam. I ordered a few blocks and started incorporating it into my program and the program of my clients.

Let’s look at a few different ways that you can incorporate foam into the weightroom.

1. Hand Walking

Taking the concept of activating the lower body with the foam, we can also activate the upper body.

Benefits of Hand Walking on Foam:

* Activate the traps, rhomboids, serratus anterior, pectorals, shoulders
* Vibrational training – reflexive/reactive motor unit activation, contraction and recruitment
* Stability of the shoulder
* Wrist, finger mobility

2. Marching

By marching on the foam, you will be activating and rehabbing the musculature of the lower body.

Benefits of Marching on Foam:

* Activate the quads, gastrocs, soleus
* Vibrational training – reflexive/reactive motor unit activation, contraction and recruitment
* Stability of the knee
* Mobility of the ankles and toes
3. Box Squat

Foam can be inserted on top of a conventional box squat box or platform.

Benefits of Foam on a Box Squat:

* Breaks the eccentric / concentric chain
* Enforces the need to contract harder and dynamically accelerate off the box and out of the hole
* Helps novice lifters progress as they learn how to utilize box appropriately and not collapse onto the box
4. Ab Rolling on Foam

Foam can be placed under the support base for ab rolling.

Benefits of Ab Rolling on Foam:

* Activate the rectus abdominus, hip flexors, internal / external obliques
* Vibrational training – reflexive/reactive motor unit activation, contraction and recruitment

5. Bulgarian Split Squats on Foam

Foam can be placed under the lead leg while performing Bulgarian split squats.

Benefits of Bulgarian Split Squats on Foam:

* Activate the quads, glutes, hamstrings
* Stability of the knee
* Mobility of the hips, ankles and toes
* Vibrational training – reflexive/reactive motor unit activation, contraction and recruitment

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