Foam rolling, or more specifically in this blog, self-myofascial release, is a way to improve blood flow, loosen tight muscles and connective tissue, improve flexibility and range of motion and decrease soreness.
Foam rolling can be done every day and at any point in the day, it doesn’t necessarily need to be tied to a workout to get the benefits. If you’re feeling particularly tight before a workout, add some foam rolling for a couple minutes in the warm up to help increase blood flow into the muscles and range of motion for the activity you’re about to do. Foam rolling can also be done after a workout to decrease DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness.) Like with everything else, consistency is key!
Some quick tips for myofascial release.
1. Start Soft
There are many different tools you can use for myofascial release. From lacrosse balls, muscle guns, muscle roller sticks, to foam rollers. We suggest starting with softer tools and building up to more “aggressive” or dense tools.
However, you can stick with softer tools for the rest of your life and still see great benefits from using them, using more dense tools doesn’t necessarily mean more advanced.
2. Find a Happy Medium
If you’re too aggressive with your muscle, it may cause it to tense up even more which is the opposite goal of what we are trying to achieve. Be like Goldilocks and find a happy medium pressure, not too soft, not too hard, just right.
3. Hold or Roll
When foam rolling you can either hold the tool in statically over the muscle, or roll it along the length of the muscle. Most times, you will do a combination of both. The key to foam rolling is to roll slow and controlled over the muscles.
4. Coax Relation
When you find a particularly tight or painful spot, roll over it and hold the tool on that spot, breath and try to coax your muscle into relaxation. Your mind plays a part in the relaxation of muscles.
How much time you spend foam rolling will depend on how much time you have. If you’re just doing a quick foam roll to warm up before a workout, 20-30 seconds per muscle group will do. If you’re wanting to really dig and release some tension, we recommend 1-3 minutes per muscle group to leave you feeling really good.
A Word Of Caution
Be careful! There is such a thing as foam rolling too much, especially if you’re using too much pressure. You don’t want to further damage any of your muscles, so make sure to listen to your body and give it plenty of time (24-48 hours) between intense foam rolling sessions.
Now that you have a couple tips, here are some videos to get you started: