Foam Rolling 101

What’s Included?

  • What is foam rolling?
  • When to use foam rolling?
  • Examples for how to foam roll

What is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a self-massage technique where you use a foam roller to apply pressure to tight or sore muscles. It works by helping muscle fibers move from a bundled & tight position (a knot) to a straighter position aligned with the muscle. The pressure from the roller increases blood flow in the area & also stimulates the muscles to relax.

It’s important to note that when it comes to foam rolling, remember: long and light. Lighter pressure is better than hard or aggressive pressure – this is because when excessive pressure is applied it can actually trigger the muscles to further tighten or even leave them further injured. Lighter, longer, amounts of pressure is the best way to go when foam rolling – you’ll find out more about how long in the next section!

When to Foam Roll?

Using foam rolling BEFORE both stretching and exercising is recommended to help prepare the muscles for movement, increase your range of motion, and improve your ability to stretch deeper and more effectively. Using foam rolling after a hard workout or regularly throughout the week is also recommended in order to release muscle tension and stimulate recovery.

For foam rolling to be most effective, you should pause the foam roller on any tender or sore spot for a minimum of 30 seconds. Depending upon your needs, you can choose a few sore or tight spots on your body & then complete 1-3 sets of the foam rolling exercise(s) for that spot.

Foam Rolling Exercises

CALVES – Check it out!

HAMSTRINGS – Check it out!

QUADRICEPS – Check it out!

ADDUCTORS – Check it out!

LATERAL THIGH – Check it out!

PIRIFORMIS – Check it out!

Amy Haas
Run with Aim, LLC
UESCA Certified Running Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Nutrition Coach