Foam roller that painful, but so wonderful tool, it can help to ease knots and relax sore muscles, but do you take all benefits from it or do you use it right?
1. Don’t only roll. If you have knots, place roll under these and put pressure on, once these knots starts to loosening, you can start rolling.
2. Roll one muscle (muscles group) 30-90 sec. There are no point to roll several minutes on one area as it can increase injuries. If you feel to need more rolling take a break and roll those muscles again. For example roll your right leg’s hamstrings first, then left, go back to the right, left and right, left.
3. Don’t only foam roll after your workouts, foam rolling lengthening muscles which can improve performance. It also increases blood flow and thus warm up muscles little bit. Remember take 10 minutes break between foam rolling and exercise.
4. When rolling IT band, do not keep your legs on top of each other, place your top leg on the ground front of you, this release all extra pressure.
5. “I have tried all techniques, but foam rolling hurts too much”. There are several types of rollers, try to start with softer one, once that feels good you can try harder one. You should feel foam rolling, but too much pain doesn’t help at all, as you start to tense your muscles.
6. If you have lower back pain, don’t roll it, as lower back is more bonier than upper back, and roller and body weight can cause too much pressure to your spine. Instead, roll buttock, hamstrings and hips.
7. Rolling the area of pain doesn’t always help. As I mentioned in previous tip, rolling other area than lower back can help lower back pain. Same thing works other part of body too, for example, often upper back and shoulder pain is due to tight chest muscles. You might not feel anything on your chest area as these muscles are shortened, while back muscles are stretched, so they are screaming for help. Rolling back might help at the beginning and release pain, but it’s likely come back. So remember also open your chest muscles.