How to Foam Roll Correctly is important and applicable If you frequently experience delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, you may benefit from performing foam rolling before and after your workouts. This process is a myofascial release technique that helps your muscles recover fast from intense workouts. Foam rolling helps improve blood flow through the fascia, or connective tissue, in your muscle fibers. With good technique, rolling can help speed up your body’s natural repair process for micro tears and release tension in your targeted muscle groups. To net the greatest benefits from your foam rolling sessions, you must perform the moves using the right equipment and techniques. Proper timing can also help you net the benefits you hope to enjoy from performing foam rolling on a regular basis.
In the early days of foam rolling, physical therapists would have you work your muscles with a tennis ball. Now, there are so many different types of rolling equipment you can use. Each one is specially designed to suit each person’s particular stretching needs. A lacrosse ball has replaced the tennis ball in this process due to its reduced give and smaller size.
To start adopting foam rolling as a regular part of your routine, you can obtain a standard sized foam roller and two lacrosse balls. You will also want to have a long tube sock on hand for rolling out knots in the muscles throughout your neck, back and upper thighs. You can pick up a foam roller here.
When using the foam roller, it is important to always work on one small area at a time. You must accurately apply pressure across each muscle to evenly relieve tension. You should always work from your feet up to keep track of your rolling location.
You will want to keep the roller or ball on the ground, or in the sock, at all times to use the surface to create light pressure against your muscles. Work the roller in multiple directions to avoid missing any muscle fibers. With the ball, you can actually move in a light circular motion to relieve knots and tension. You can also place the two lacrosse balls in a sock and twist to create a specialized roller for your thighs, back and neck.
Always work slowly, as rapid movements could cause a sudden, unexpected jolt of pain. When you press the roller or ball across your muscles in a methodical fashion, you can immediately back off as the soreness threatens to turn to pain.
Remain mindful to your comfort levels to identify the signals your muscles are sending your brain. You can take a brief intermission while breathing deeply to gauge how well the foam roller is removing tension.
You will need to experiment with timing to find the best routine for your needs. Many people save foam rolling for after the workout to immediately decrease soreness, especially after high intensity exercises. If you regularly go on long runs, for example, foam rolling can work out the kinks in your back and leg muscles after you return home.
Others swear by performing the foam rolling before their workout as a part of the stretching routine. With a preemptive rolling session, you can eliminate soreness from the day before while helping warm up your muscles for the upcoming workout. At first, you can perform a brief rolling session before and after your workouts to determine the timing that works best for you. You may end up continuing to roll before and after due to the wide range of benefits provided by this structure.
You should start to feel the benefits of foam rolling as soon as you begin. As you target each separate muscle group, rolling should release tension in your muscles and reduce the DOMS you would normally feel after your workout. The rolling process should never feel outright painful, though some soreness is common whenever you come across knots in your muscles. If the soreness amplifies too much, you can slow down the rolling process or move onto another area. If the pain persists after rolling the foam away from the knot, you should cease the activity and seek assistance from your doctor.
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