How to foam roll properly

Foam rolling is a relatively recent fitness trend, but one that’s been a long time coming and we’re ready to welcome it with open arms — but, you definitely need to know how to foam roll properly if you want to get the most benefits out of it.

Foam rolling can help with muscle soreness, muscle imbalance, flexibility and even injury prevention. If you’ve seen foam rollers in the store or at the gym, you already know that they differ hugely. Therefore, finding the right foam roller for your needs is the first step to foam rolling success. 

1.    Find the Right Foam Roller for You
If you like to take your gym on the road and travel a lot, you might want to get a more compact, short roll. If you don’t quite care about that as much and want to get a high-quality roll with lots of stability, go long. Or, if you want to get in there and get knots or lactic acid out, try a firmer roll with ridges.

2. Make Sure You’re Rolling Enough
Then, make sure you’re rolling enough when you do so. If you’re not feeling the results you want, you might simply not be rolling for a long enough period. For the best results, you will want to spend at least a minute on each area of your body, with more time if you have a particularly sore spot. The ideal total for your overall body is about 15 minutes. 

Likewise, don’t overdo it. Generally, more than a minute is not needed unless you have specific knots or soreness. If you ever feel tingling or similar sensations, you’ve been rolling a specific spot too long.

3. Make Sure You’re Rolling Everywhere
Take a check of everywhere you’re rolling. Are you hitting all the right spots? Make sure you’re getting your hips, thighs, sides, up and down your legs, glutes, back and more. 

4. Make Sure You’re Using Enough Pressure
Pay attention to your body. It will tell you how much pressure to use. You won’t want to use the same amount of pressure for each part of your body. Start with a moderate amount of pressure and then lighten or increase as you feel necessary. Don’t shy away from any mild discomfort, as that may just mean the rolling is working. Similarly, keep pressure in mind when considering when you’re doing the rolling — you’ll want to use a lighter pressure if you’re rolling before a workout, and a harder pressure if you’re rolling after.

5. Don’t Roll the Wrong Areas
Lastly, there are a few body parts you don’t want to roll: your IT band, lower back, pubis area and neck. This can cause issues and be ineffective. 

Want to be taught to foam roll by professional instructors? The 'How to Series' is coming to Melbourne Sports Centres - MSAC! Click here for more info.