Why You Should Foam Roll

I wouldn't say foam rolling is a new concept but it is new to a lot of people as a form of stretching and even working out! There are so many benefits and considering you could pick one of these bad boys up at Target or Amazon for $15 it's money well spent! 

The purpose of foam rolling is to for myofascial release or a form of self-massage. This is done by gently applying sustained pressure to the myofascial connective tissue to eliminate pain and restore motion. You will want to do about 15-20 minutes a couple times a week if you are actively running or weight lifting! 

Benefits of Foam Rolling: 

  1. Prevents injury & helps you recover faster
  2. Breaks up scar tissue
  3. Improves mobility and flexibility
  4. Removes lactic acid to aid in recovery
  5. Can be used as a workout tool
  6. Helps relieve pain from sitting for long periods of time

Most Common Muscles to Roll: 

  1. Calves
  2. Hamstrings
  3. Quads
  4. Iliotibial (IT) Bands
  5. Gluteal Muscles
  6. Inner Thigh
  7. Lats
  8. Back (make sure not to roll and lay on your lower back as that can cause the spinal muscles to tense up and make matters even worse!) 

Common Foam Rolling Mistakes: 

  • You roll exactly where you feel pain

Instead of rolling on the exact spot that hurts, try to roll opposite and on the sides of that area. It could be that the indirect associated muscles are what is tight and causing the other muscles to tense up and feel sore

  • You are rolling too fast

When you roll over the muscles too fast your body is unable to adapt and manage the compression of the roller. Slowing down allows the muscle to fully react and adapt so that you are actually reliving lactic acid and tightness.

  • You are focusing too much on knots

Foam rolling knots can feel AMAZING but if you spend too much time in those areas you can end up damaging the tissue or nerves and cause bruising that will worsen the pain. 

  • You have poor form

When you are rolling out your quads or even your calves it can be hard to hold yourself upright properly. The problem is, that as we sag into the stretch we might be causing more issues in our spin or making the existing issue worse. Make you learn how to properly roll with a trainer or physical therapist before just trying it out at home. 

Happy rolling!