Foam Rolling: Everything You Need to Know

Ashley Azevedo

Foam Rolling

As requested, I’m going over FOAM ROLLING this week. Another name you might hear for foam rolling is Self-Myofascial Release or SMR for short. This article will give you all the info you need and I've even included a video to get you started! 

Benefits of Foam Rolling

  • Correct Muscle Imbalances
  • Improve Flexibility and Range of Motion
  • Decrease Soreness
  • Improve Tissue Recovery
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Improved Movement Efficiency
  • Decrease Overall Stress on the Movement System
  • Decrease Risk of Injury

 

When To Do It

  • Before your static or dynamic stretching
  • As part of a cool down

 

How To Do It

1.Slow Your Roll.  

A lot of times people try to rush through rolling--probably because *Spoiler Alert* it doesn’t really feel good. I’m not gonna lie to you. It can get real painful, especially in the beginning. You’ve been warned. But don’t rush through it. To start, slowly roll along the whole length of the muscle top to bottom and note any areas that are particularly tender.

2. Hold it.

Now go back to those tender spots you identified and just hold the roller there for about 30-90 seconds or until you feel it start to loosen up.  

3. Add Some Movement.

Try a movement that isn’t just rolling up and down the muscle This will help to further break up any adhesions and lengthen the muscle.

4. Roll it Out.

Like step one, you wanna slowly roll the entire length of the muscle again to kinda “flush” things out. No need to stop on tender areas.

 

It's NOT for Everyone. These People Should NOT Foam Roll. People with:

  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Kidney Failure
  • Really, Any Type of Organ Failure
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Contagious Skin Conditions

 

Things to Remember

Not Every Muscle Needs to be Rolled.

The goal is to lengthen the tight muscles, so those are the ones that should be rolled out. Not every muscle needs to be rolled, nor is it safe to do so.

 

Slow Down.

As much as you might wanna, don’t rush through your rolling. Keep it slow and be sure to hold on those tender areas for at least 30 seconds.

 

Maintain Core Stability.

Maintain core stability through each rolling exercise.

 

Hydrate.

Stay hydrated always, but it’s especially important when you’re rolling or having any body work done. When pressure is released on these tissues, water and nutrients are able to rush back in.

 

 

 

Foam Rolling Exercises Shown in This Video (in order)

  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Piriformis
  • IT Band
  • Thoracic Spine
  • Lats
  • Adductors

 

Hopefully this’ll get you rolling 😛  Cheesy enough? But really go get started and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

 

Happy Rolling!

 

Until next time,

 

Xoxo

Ashley

 

References:

  1. Stull (2017). Foam Rolling Techniques: A Four Step Formula (https://blog.nasm.org/fitness/foam-rolling-techniques-a-4-step-formula/)
  2. Penney (2013). Foam Rolling-Applying the Technique of Self-Myofascial Release (https://blog.nasm.org/training-benefits/foam-rolling-applying-the-technique-of-self-myofascial-release/)
  3. Stull (2017). Everbody is Foam Rolling...But Why Everywhere? (https://blog.nasm.org/training-benefits/everybody-foam-rolling-everywhere/)

 

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