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How to use a Foam Roller

Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as a therapeutic massage or sports massage at a fraction of the cost. In essence, you are using your own body weight to rejuvenate your muscles, restore balance and increase your strength.

The foam roller stretches your muscles and tendons, breaking up trigger points, and soothing tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to soft tissues. Foam rolling can also breakdown adhesions and scar tissue, revitalizing weakened areas and alleviating pain.

Here are some tips for using a Foam Roller effectively:
  • Always check with your doctor before using a foam roller and/or beginning a new workout or diet regimen.
  • Perform foam roller sessions both before and after your workout, but don't overdo it when your muscles are cold.
  • Position the foam roller under the soft tissue area you want to release or loosen.Gently and slowly roll your body weight back and forth across the roller while targeting the affected muscle.
  • If you find a particularly painful area (trigger point), hold that position and manipulate your weight a bit until the area begins to soften. You can place your hands on the ground to better regulate the amount of weight you are using on the roller. Increase the weight as the trigger point or knot dissolves.
  • Focus on areas of your body that feel tight or tired and roll over each area a few times until you feel improvement. You should experience some discomfort, but not acute pain. Don't try to "push through" extreme pain; you may worsen a serious injury.
  • Do not roll directly over bone or joints.
  • Keep your first few foam roller sessions short. About 15 minutes is all you need.
  • Drink plenty of water after a session to flush your body of toxins, just as you would after a vigorous massage.
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