Foam rollers can be an effective device for recovering after a workout. Whether you are a beginner, workout often, or recovering from an injury, they are a quick and affordable option to help loosen your muscles and ease pain. The roller can activate the connective tissue between bones to avoid soreness and tension and promote recovery. Use these tips below when rolling to get the most out of this tool!
Tips to Optimize the Use of the Foam Roller
Although it sounds like a given, breathing is one of the most forgotten tricks to help loosen muscles. Breathing slowly will help ease the discomfort as you roll. Holding your breath prevents the roller from reaching your connective tissue, making it difficult for the roller to target tense muscles.
Roll Before Your Workout
Applying a foam roller on your muscles pre-workout is an efficient trick that helps increase the effectiveness of your workout. The roller will help strengthen your mobility and range of motion as you exercise. While it is still helpful to use the roller post-workout, using it before helps your muscles work more productively, thus increasing your calorie burn.
Pace Your Use
When rolling, it is important to maintain a slow pace and a firm pressure on your muscles to optimize the effectiveness of the roller. If you roll too fast or too lightly, the roller will not be able to reach your muscles and activate recovery. While it may be slightly uncomfortable to apply pressure, this will ease your pain in the long-term.
As you use the foam roller be sure to avoid your lower back. Keep the roller vertical so that you target the small muscles in your upper back. Using the foam roller horizontally puts pressure on your spine and is much less beneficial. Ask your physical therapist for foam roller exercises to stay safe while using this tool.
Using a foam roller can provide you with relief, but it is important to know the proper way to use it. Practice these tips to ensure that you use it safely and effectively. As you use the roller, you may notice your mobility and range significantly improve during your workouts. Add the foam roller into your workout routine to ensure that you are giving your muscles the recovery they need. Have more questions? Ask one of our experienced PTs by making an appointment today!