Often times our muscles are so tense that we cannot release tension solely from stretching. Using a foam roller allows for what is called “myofascial release.” This is just a fancy term for relaxing/massaging your muscles. Foam rolling can help break up scar tissue, help loosen up any knots deep in the muscle, increase blood flow, improve range of motion and performance, help increase flexibility, and most importantly prevent injury.
To foam roll correctly, you need to really dig in and flirt with a certain level of pain. Therefore, rolling should feel a little uncomfortable. If you find a sweet spot that is more tender than other areas, try to sit on that position and just take a few deep breaths. We like to say go to the entrance of the “pain cave” but don’t go inside it! Take your time with rolling. Be sure to roll slowly; 1 inch per second. You are dealing with fragile muscle tissue!
Also, don’t make funny faces even if it hurts. Deal with it. Smile and embrace the tension leaving your body.
Foam rolling should typically be done before exercise but could also be done post exercise. You want to make sure to foam roll each muscle group 1-2 times through. Try to relax the muscles that you are rolling. Post foam rolling, it is best to stretch your muscles to help lengthen and increase range of motion even more.
Watch the video below and give foam rolling a try!
Happy foam rolling!