Foam rolling is a method of self-myofascial release, more commonly known as self-massage. It uses the pressure of your body weight on foam applied to certain body areas to relieve muscle pain, tightness, and address trigger points within the musculoskeletal system. The most common muscle areas for which foam rolling is used include the Iliotibial (IT) band, quadriceps (front thigh), gluteals (buttocks), and calves. However, it can be used on most muscle areas of the body.
Benefits Of Foam Rolling:
- Relieves muscle tension (neuromuscular hypertonicity) and pain.
- Breaks up fibrous tissue.
- Boosts circulation (increases blood flow) so you’re less sore.
- Increase flexibility.
- Can help prevent injury by loosening muscles and preparing them for workouts.
- May help reduce inflammation, scar tissue, and joint stress.
- May help correct muscle imbalance.
- Improve range of motion.
How To Best Use A Foam Roller
- Can be done before or after a workout or as a session on their own.
- It is best to perform foam roller exercises once your muscles are warm. You should do a quick five-minute warm-up if you are rolling out right before a training session.
- As you roll, take deep, slow breaths to help your muscles relax.
- Use your body weight and the foam roller to apply pressure to the specific muscle or muscle group.
- Support all exercises by keeping your abdominal and core muscles firm to maintain stability.
- Keep your head and neck in line with your back at all times to avoid placing stress on your spine.
- All movements should be done slowly and under control.
- Perform the rolling movement for about 30 seconds and roll about 1 inch per second.
- Pausing over tender or painful areas for 20-30 seconds will help release knots in muscles and reduce muscle stiffness and soreness.
What To Caution For:
- Never foam roll a joint or a bone
- Give the area at least 24-48 hours of recovery between rolling sessions to allow for proper recovery. Beginners should leave more time between sessions.
- Stretch after rolling
If you have any questions about foam rolling, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Athletic Therapists for guidance. If you are interested in trying foam rolling, you can purchase a foam roller at our clinic.
Yours in health,