Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the foam roller. It’s a bit of a sore ride but so worth it. Foam rolling improves circulation and mobility of muscles, tendons and fascia*. It also prevents injury in the back, hip, foot and shoulder, and aids in recovery.
That’s a lot of benefit from a piece of high density foam! However, knowing how and when to use a foam roller is critical. Foam rolling incorrectly, too frequently, or with too much compression can cause bruising and injury to nerves.
Coach Amy’s high level “rolling” tips:
Start WARM. Foam rolling is best with warm muscles. For athletes, this is AFTER a workout. The less active individual should warm-up for 10 minutes prior to foam rolling. A walk is a great way to get the blood flowing a bit first.
Time is MONEY. Conveniently shorter is better. No need to roll for hours. 1-2 minutes per area is long enough.
Go SLOW. Moving too quickly on the foam roller causes the connective tissue to fight back and tighten up: the opposite of what we want.
MEET the tension. Going too deep with too much compression can cause damage. We want to stimulate, not irritate.
Want to know more? Want to see a licensed PT demonstrate the proper technique, and watch you foam roll to ensure proper form? Coach Amy is hosting two foam rolling clinics in October during National Physical Therapy Month. These “one-time” clinics will be FREE in gratitude and enthusiasm for keeping Kansas City active and injury-free.
*what the heck is fascia? It’s a thick and strong spider-web like mesh of connective tissue that wraps around muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, nerves and even organs!