Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) stretching technique that has become increasingly popular over the past decade and thankfully so. Foam rolling can help with mobility, flexibility, muscle recovery, and improve muscle imbalances.
HOW FOAM ROLLING WORKS?
Our bodies have an elastic connective tissue which thinly covers our muscles and that is called fascia. This fascia can become stiff and restricted and cause pain in our bodies due to: hard workouts, daily stressors, and poor posture.
To release the fascia and allow it to move properly, it requires direct “hands-on” pressure from a massage therapist, a foam roller, a massage gun, a lacrosse ball or a tool that is equivalent. Sadly, static stretching will not be able to give you these results.
Now that we have a better overview of foam rolling, let’s talk about the DO’s and DON’Ts.
- DO FOAM ROLL BEFORE AND AFTER WORKOUTS
- Rolling out before a workout can increase circulation, flexibility, and overall range of motion, which will enhance your workout.
- Rolling out after a workout will help maintain flexibility and break up any tissue that may later turn into knots.
- DO RESEARCH PROPER TECHNIQUES
- I always recommend doing extra research on what areas of the body you want to roll out and what tool (i.e. lacrosse ball, foam roller, etc.) would be best for that area. If anything feels injured or too uncomfortable, seek medical/professional advice.
- DON’T ROLL DIRECTLY ON BONES OR JOINTS
- Examples of joints are: your shoulder socket or your hip socket
- DON’T ROLL OUT YOUR LOWER BACK
- Rolling your lower back can cause your muscles to contract, rather than relax, due to it being a more delicate area. Instead, use a lacrosse ball to target more specific lower back areas.
- DO ROLL OVER TRIGGER POINTS
- Roll over each trigger point 5-10 times, holding pressure on each spot for approximately 20-30 seconds.
- DON’T ROLL EXCESSIVELY
- Rolling out too frequently or aggressively can cause bruising and further damage. For Best Results, Do Not perform more than one myofascial release session in less than 24 hours and always rehydrate after!