What is Foam Rolling?
Foam Rolling is a type of technique used to release and relieve mainly muscle tightness or soreness. It is a way of self-massaging tense muscles and painful knots. It is a form of a recovery aid after intense sessions.
There are various different types of foam rollers available. The differences include;
- Intensity; which can be softer or firmer to achieve different results
- Size; smaller and bigger ones to target certain areas
- Surface texture; various raises and ridges on the roller
Who does Foam Rolling help?
Foam rolling can be used for most types of exercises and sports. A few examples but not limited to;
- After leg exercises or classes
- Anyone who exercises
- Those who are aiming to lose weight (By not foam rolling it can prevent weight loss as having knots and bad blood flow can prevent you from burning calories)
- Anyone wanting to massage parts of their body (foam rolling is a form of self-massage)
What are benefits of Foam Rolling?
- Releases knots/tightness in muscles after training
- Decreases stiffness
- Relaxes the body and the mind
- Helps promote recovery
- Improves range of movement and mobility
- Removes collagen build up and encourages blood flow which flushes away waste
- Reduces risks of injury
- Improves muscle soreness
- Can help you relax and sleep better
- Reduces scar tissue accumulation
- Assists with helping to reduce chronic back pain
Where can I Foam Roll?
You can foam roll in various areas, such as IT bands, hamstrings, calves, upper back, quads, lats, glutes and adductors.
Spend a minimum of 45 seconds per targeted area. For smaller areas a tennis ball can be used.
Avoid directly rolling over joints, bones or badly injured areas.
See a few examples below;
Runners will LOVE this one as it gets right into your Glute muscles
- Sit on the foam roller with your hands behind you on the floor
- Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Rest the right arm on the crossed leg
- Roll back & forth in order to get into the tight areas
- Switch sides
This one loosens tensions in the back so a good all-rounder
- Lie down in the crunch position with the foam roller under your lower back
- Place your hands behind your head for support
- Use your feet to guide you and push the roller back & forth up the back
Another great one for runners
- Sit on the floor with your left ankle/leg on top of the right one to apply some pressure to the leg. Lift your hands up to lift you up slightly
- The foam roller needs to start at the back of the ankles and you can roll back and forth on the calves
- Swap to other leg
When should I Foam Roll?
The best time to foam roll is after the end of a training session/class/sport or run.
Foam rolling can also be used before a workout or race to increase circulation and to help with injury prevention. It’s recommended to use a lighter pressure for any pre-workout.
Written by CJ @ Mind & Fitness Revolution