After recovering from back surgery following his third season in the NFL, Nate Lawrie became dedicated to foam rolling as a way to extend his career. He says that one of the main reasons he was able to deal with his finicky lower back was foam rolling, which he did nearly every day, thereby extending his NFL career by another five years. Lawrie explains more:
The foam rolling techniques I practice are designed to loosen and improve the muscles that tie into the low back and hips, as well as align joints and vertebrae. They can have a major impact for someone who suffers from low back pain or sits for long hours. If you’re active, these are great moves to prevent injury and keep you in peak physical condition. The body is a chain, so it is vital for any self-maintenance practice to focus on the bigger picture. When you have a specific area you want to focus on, it’s vital that you attend to adjacent muscle groups in order to see great results. When it comes to the low back, you have muscles and connecting tissue that want to pull your spine and hips in a hundred different directions. If the area is not properly maintained, something is going to pull harder than it should and cause pain.
Lawrie did have one issue, however. “My love for foam rolling was only negated by my inability to have it when I needed it most,” he explains. “Foam rollers by nature are bulky and cumbersome. I wanted my foam roller with me when I was on the go — whether it was to an away-game, training at different gyms, or traveling in the off-season. It wasn’t an option with traditional rollers.”
Taking matters into his own hands Lawrie created the world’s first collapsible foam roller, The Morph, which just launched its Kickstarter campaign. For some foam rolling inspiration we asked the athlete to give us an exclusive look at the five moves, he says, saved his career and continue to help mitigate his back pain today.
Back adjustment and massage
Roll 1: Round back to isolate vertebrae and roll slowly along entire spine several times for a total of 30 seconds.
Roll 2: Find knots and use a short, rolling motion to release them for 30 seconds.
Finish with a chest-opener stretch. With The Morph beneath your thoracic spine, lace your fingers behind your head and allow your arms to stretch outward. Do this for 30 seconds.
lute massage and release