Foam rolling has become a popular self-massage technique over the past few years among patients of all ages. Benefits include: reduced muscle soreness and tightness, increased blood flow to tissue, increased mobility, and increased flexibility when combined with stretching. Additionally, foam rolling requires little equipment, can be done regularly, and independently.
Some important parameters for the using a foam roll include:
- Only roll over soft tissue, never roll over joints or bony landmarks
- Focus on major muscle groups
- Move slowly from each area to the next only rolling for about 30 seconds on each
- If you are currently being treated for an injury or illness check with your healthcare provider before foam rolling
- Mild to moderate discomfort and tenderness is normal, pain is not
BASIC TECHNIQUES FOR FOAM ROLLING
- Start with knees bent, both feet on the ground.
- Place the foam roll behind you and lay into it.
- Using your legs to lift your hips, roll up and down along your mid to upper back, avoiding the ribs.
1 Sit on the foam roll and shift your weight towards one hip.
2 Roll up and down along the glute musculature making sure to focus on soft tissue.
3 Move the foam roll to the outside of your thigh, above the knee.
4 Roll up and down avoiding the outside of the knee.
It is common for this area to be more sensitive than others due to the common tightness of the tissue.
1 Move the foam roll down toward the posterior aspect of your thigh.
2 Roll up and down using your arms to support your body weight.
Be sure to avoid rolling over the back of your knee.
1 Flip over and place the foam roll along the anterior portion of your thighs.
2 Roll up and down avoiding rolling over the front of your knee.