Foam rolling 101

Foam rolling 101

 

 

Everyone has probably heard the hype of foam rolling and how good it is for your body, but most people really don’t understand the actual benefits it has or how to get the most out of it. Here are some simple facts regarding the best ways to foam roll and the effects it will have!

 

How to foam roll

 

*The whole purpose of foam rolling is to “release” tension and tightness in the muscles, so it is essential that while you roll out a certain area of the body, you focus on keeping your muscles relaxed. If you are contracting your muscles while foam rolling, you can actually hurt yourself and cause more tightness to the area and bruising.

 

* Do not roll back and forth on a spot quickly and repetitively.  The most effective way to foam roll is to slowly roll through the muscle and find the really tight areas and knots. Once you find one of these locations, you should stop rolling and just let the pressure of the roller press into the muscle. Hold for about 20-30 seconds, and make sure to take nice deep breaths. At first the discomfort level will be fairly high, but as more time elapses the pain will decrease as more blood rushes to the area and the muscle fibers lengthen.

 

*The best time to foam roll is right after your workout, before you begin to stretch.  Muscles will be shortened and tight right after activity, so rolling after exercise will be most beneficial for recovery.  Follow your rolling with some stretching to further increase muscle lengthening.

 

* Just because foam rolling is so good for you does not mean that the more you do it, the more benefits you’ll see. Foam rolling should not be done every day, and not for more then about a half hour at a time.  Over doing foam rolling can cause painful bruising, and lead to increased tightness and even muscle injury.

 

Foam rolling benefits

 

* Increase blood flow to muscles

* Decrease muscle tightness and soreness

* Reduce chances of injury

* Increase rate of recovery post-workout