Top 10 Foam Roller Tips – The Essentials Of Foam Rolling
Our Top 10 Foam Rolling Tips
For some people foam rolling can be confusing so here are top 10 tips for getting up close and personal with a foam roller.
- Choose the correct density to control the tension. Foam rollers come in many densities or hardness. If you’re new to foam rolling begin with the white softer foam roller before trying a black denser/harder foam roller.
- Roll slowly through the movement. Rolling too quickly through the exercise you might miss a hot-spot or adhesion. Slow things down to feel where those trigger points are.
- As with all exercises, breathe. Holding your breath will not make the tension dissipate, breathing throughout the exercise however may help push through any tension. Holding your breath can also increase blood pressure adding to your discomfort.
- Roll before and after a workout. Roll before a workout as part of your warm up, and hopefully address any tight muscles. Research shows that foam rolling, unlike static stretching, has no negative impact on strength during a workout so foam rolling can be a part of your pre and post workout routine.
- Focus on your tight muscles. Whilst it’s tempting to go foam roller crazy instead get your posture assessed by a professional personal trainer to see what areas you need to focus on. By foam rolling lengthened muscles you can sometimes cause more muscle imbalances.
- Don’t start foam rolling and switch off, try to focus on the muscle at hand. This mind muscle connection will help you become more aware of any changes in your muscle, and joint range of movement as well are bring awareness to any problem areas that may arise in the workout so you can modify accordingly.
- Avoid boney areas. Foam rolling is for muscle not bone, this means avoiding areas like the spine and directly on boney joints like the knee. You can get close, into the problem area but avoid rolling directly over joints as pressure on these areas could lead to injury.
- Don’t neglect stretching routines. Foam rolling is just ONE part of a flexibility program. Don’t neglect other static or dynamic stretches for further joint mobility just because you think foam rolling is covering your bases, it isn’t.
- As with any exercise, technique is key. When you get tired in a workout your technique suffers and this can lead to injury, the same can happen when foam rolling. Some of the exercises require you to move into positions that resemble a particularly tough game of Twister. Therefore we have to ensure we’re performing the exercises correctly to avoid injury from poor posture.
- Establishing a pain barrier. Some people will say it’s painful, but we know there is a difference between discomfort and pain and that threshold is different for everybody. Discomfort is the body telling us that we’re reaching the point where we need to be careful, pain is the body telling us to stop.