Foam Rolling: Dos and Don'ts

Foam Rolling: Dos and Don'ts - KEFLUK

Foam rolling has become extremely popular as a muscle recovery exercise, as it can help alleviate muscle pain and tension caused by adhesions that can form between your muscle and your fascia (layer of tissue that surrounds muscles and separates them from organs). 

What is Foam Rolling?

When you exercise (be it cardio or strength training), muscle fibres tend to tear and swell, which can lead to myofascial adhesions. The muscle gets stuck as they glide during movements, causing muscle knots. Using a foam roller to provide myofascial release, this type of workout helps smooth over and lengthen tight muscles. When muscles are relaxed, blood flow and circulation is improved and thus promote a speedier recovery.

Dos and Don’ts of Foam Rolling

Dos

  • Make sure to research different foam rollers before deciding which one is best suited for your needs. For instance, there are several lengths and diameters available, and even half rollers that lay flat on the floor for better balance.
  • Please roll slowly – this isn’t the typical workout where you build up speed as you go along! Place the foam roller on the direct muscle being targeted, and then position yourself over the roll. 
  • Roll over each trigger point, around 5-10 times, while spending no more than 20 seconds on each spot. Please pause if you feel the need to relieve tension.
  • This exercise is for targeting all body areas, but you should definitely spend more time on sensitive areas.
  • Foam rolling releases toxins from muscles, so drink water after you finish.
  • Keep gaps of 24 to 48 hours between each session.

Don’ts

  • Don’t make the mistake of rolling to the point when you feel excessively sore – it will do more harm than good.
  • Be careful not to foam roll directly onto a joint or bone, as it might lead to aches later on.
  • Don’t roll on your neck and seek professional advice if you have neck pain.
  • Rolling on the lower back is a strict no-no as it could cause the spine to contract in an effort to protect it. 
  • While buying a foam roller, make sure you opt for one that guarantees premium quality, or it will be excessively soft and give way too much under the weight of your body. Choose a roller that comes with a hard inner cylinder that is surrounded by a thick layer of dense foam on the outside. This way, your body weight is properly balanced when you use it.