How To Foam Roll

by Anna Victoria in Fitness

Foam Rolling (also called Self Myofascial Release) is performed using a cylindrical, rigid piece of foam. There are many different ways you can use a foam roller, but all are intended to release muscle tightness, release muscle tension, increase blood flow, and increase your range of motion – all important things for getting you ready to exercise and cooling down following a workout.

Foam rolling is one of the most important rehabilitation practices that anyone can and should be doing after every workout. Foam rolling works by applying pressure to specific points, often referred to as trigger points, where you feel the most pain or soreness. Since you are the one who feels the pressure of the foam roller, you can decide how much weight you put on the foam roller according to the level of soreness in a given area. General rule is to keep the pain tolerable (4/10 on a 0-10 pain scale). If you feel numbness/burning/tingling, avoid rolling in the area as you may be close to a nerve.

WHEN SHOULD I FOAM ROLL?

Foam rolling for 2-3 minutes before any cardio warm-up or exercise routine and then for 10 minutes after your workout is ideal. If there is ever a period of time when you are feeling particularly tight at a certain trigger point, you can also foam roll right before bed.

AREAS TO AVOID:

Avoid rolling over areas of hyper (more mobility) ex: low back.
Avoid rolling directly over joints (mid back ok) ex: knee cap.
Avoid rolling over areas that are “open spaces” without much soft tissue support – this is where blood vessels and nerves travel (ex: in the elbow crease, above your collarbone)

Email us at hello@fitbodyapp.com if you need any help with foam rolling! Or if you have any questions on modifications, alternatives, or injuries, email the Fit Body Physical Therapist at pt@fitbodyapp.com. You get free PT consultations included in your Fit Body app membership!

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