Do’s + Don’ts of Foam Rolling

Do’s

1.  Use it often.  3-4 times per week is good, every day is better.

2.  Use it on more than just your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.  There is a link to a free e-manual explaining what areas you can roll, how to roll, for how long etc. at the bottom of this post.

3.  Find trigger points and grind them out.

4.  Play around with applying varying loads of pressure on muscles.  For example, you may start rolling the front of both your legs, and then progress to crossing one leg on top of the other and working on them individually.

5.  Try different tools.  Tennis balls, lacrosse balls, small med balls.  The roller won’t be able to get everywhere.

6.  Use it pre-workout, post-workout, or intermittently throughout your workout.

7.  Buy a new roller once in a while.  If you notice a particularly compact area on the roller, or any degradation, it’s time to pick up a new one!

8.  The up and down rolling motion is fine and will benefit you.  However, try shifting your weight side to side once you’re on a good chunk of muscle.  Feel the muscles slide over each other.  This will be particularly easy while rolling the quads.

Don’ts

1.  Don’t roll your lower back.  Because of the natural curvature of your lumbar spine, a typical 5′ diameter roller fits pretty comfortably into the curve and when pressure is applied, it puts undue stress on the vertebrae and discs.  You can use smaller tools such as a tennis ball to roll on either side of your spine on your lower back.  Try putting two tennis balls in a sock, spread them slightly apart, and use that to roll either side of your spine in the low back area.

2.  Don’t roll near your neck

3.  Don’t speed through it; it should take a bit of time.  If you’ve rolled your lower body in 90 seconds, you’ve gone too fast and aren’t reaping the benefits.  Try spending 30-60 seconds on each area, roll slowly and in a controlled manner. It may take 5 minutes to thoroughly roll the lower body.

Mike Robertson’s free e-manual for foam rolling: http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/self-myofascial-release-e-manual/

Did I miss anything out? Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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2 Comments on “Do’s + Don’ts of Foam Rolling”

  1. ProUnit Performance Trainer January 23, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    I saw your foam roller review and wanted to share my product information with you maybe you can do another review when my product is available to you. My name is Gary Miller and my company is launching its first 5 in 1 home and travel fitness product next month called the ProUnit Performance Trainer. Once the site is up you can find us at http://www.TheProUnit.com until then find us on Facebook at the ProUnit Performance Trainer.

    The ProUnit is a 5 in 1 product…
    1) Foam Roller
    2) Ab Roller
    3) Rotating Push-up handles
    4) Ab Wheel
    5) Stretch Strap
    The other great advantage of the ProUnit is that since the tube is hollow you can put extra fitness products in the tube like fitness bands, jump rope, agility ladder, suspension straps…pretty much you can be creative even a mat wraps around outside for a place to work out on. The ProUnit Performance Trainer is the fitness tool of 2013.
    We are planning to launch Feb 1st so hopefully we can share the ProUnit with you then. Until that time please like our ProUnit Performance Trainer Page here on Facebook. We would love to share content as we grow.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dine & Dash Diaries, Friday Faves, 8/31/2012 - August 31, 2012

    […] The Do’s and Don’ts of Foam Rolling (Myofascial Release) – I’m new to the foam rolling world, but I’d like to give it a try. This (free!) guide gives tips for rolling each part of the body, and the anatomy nerd in me loves the provided diagrams. […]

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