Favourite Foam Rolling Moves and Tips

Favourite Foam Rolling Moves and Tips

Do you know that foam rolling is a kind of SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) technique? With this method, you can easily relieve your tight muscles, inflammation, and soreness. It will even help in increasing your joint range of motion.

Now foam rolling is an effective tool and you can add it to your cooldown or warm-up, just before and after exercising. Of course, the benefits of foam rolling will vary from one person to another.

In this article, we are going to check out the benefits of foam rolling, the best foam rolling techniques, and the best foam rollers to use.

Benefits of Foam Rolling

Easing One’s Muscle Pain

No doubt, foam rolling is great for easing sore muscles and lowering inflammation. A study conducted on a certain number of male participants showed evidence that foam rolling after doing exercise will lower the delayed onset of muscle soreness.

The study showed that these physically active men foam rolled for 20-25 minutes after exercising and that too after 24 and 48 hours of exercising. Well, the participants saw a huge decrease in their delayed-onset muscle soreness, and this was much better compared to the exercising done without using the foam rolling. Most importantly, they were able to do physical exercising better compared to the ones that did not do foam rolling exercise.

Increasing Range of Motion

With foam rolling you can easily increase the range of motion. However, various research is required for supporting it. Of course, the range of motion is necessary for performance and flexibility. Various research show that adolescent athletes that do static stretching along with foam rolling have effectively been able to increase their range of motion. This was better than the static stretching done alone.

Most experts feel that for getting the best results from foam rolling, one must try to stretch out and do foam roll after each workout.

Temporarily Lowering Appearance of Cellulite

Certain providers and suppliers of foam rolling have claimed their products can easily loosen and break the fascia. The fascia is the body’s connective tissue. It contributes to the appearance of the cellulite.

No doubt, the foam rolling can easily smoothen the skin in a temporary way; there is not any kind of scientific pieces of evidence for supporting that it can reduce cellulite permanently. To reduce cellulite, you must continue having an active lifestyle and eat a healthy diet.

Relieve Back Pain

SMR is one of the effective means of easing body pain. It will help in easing the tension of your back too. Now it is necessary to take care when you are using the foam roller on your back. However it can sometimes injure or strain your back further.

For using the foam roller for your lower back pain, first, you have to turn the foam roller, making sure that it is vertical (where it must be in line with your spine) and then you have to slowly roll the roller from one side to another. Make sure that it needs to be in line with your spine.

If you do this as opposed to just keeping it horizontal it will lead to an acute arch and strain your back too. At times, you can try lying on the foam massage ball, or even the tennis ball for working out the knots present in the back.

Manage Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Foam rolling can at times present promising results when it concerns the treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. Certain studies were done and research too where 60 adults suffering from fibromyalgia did foam rolling for 20-22 weeks. They reported feeling better and suffered less pain intensity, stiffness, fatigue, and depression. Also, they reported getting an increase in their range of motion. This study is quite promising, but more research is required for confirming the efficacy of foam rolling, especially for treating fibromyalgia symptoms.

Helping You to Relax

There are many people that find foam rolling quite relaxing. At times breaking the tightness in the muscles would make you feel less tense and even calmer. However, there is less evidence that simply displays that foam rolling can help in providing a good amount of relaxation.

A study was conducted on 20 females who did foam roll or rested for 30 minutes as soon as they finished walking on the treadmill. In certain studies, researchers were not able to find that these ladies’ stress reduced more compared to the ones that rested.

Do You Think Foam Rolling Is Safe?

Foam rolling is simply a safe way of doing exercising. This is great for those people that experience muscle tightness or do regular exercise. You need to avoid foam rolling only when you are suffering from a serious injury like a muscle break or tear. Keep in mind that you must check out with your physical therapist or doctor just before you do the foam rolling exercises.

Make sure to avoid rolling right over your small joints like elbows, knees, and ankles. This might lead to hyperextend and even damaging your body parts. Rather when you are foam rolling your legs, you need to first roll out your calves and try out the quads separately. Try to avoid the knee area.

If you check foam rolling will even help to relieve tension during pregnancy. Just get it cleared from your doctor first and make sure that you are avoiding lying on your back when you are using the foam roll in your pregnancy. Make sure that you are skipping rolling out the calves when you are in the third trimester. Sometimes this might lead to premature labour.

How Do You Choose A Good Foam Roller?

If you check out a foam roller is simply cylinder-shaped and created of dense foam. However, you might come across various foam rollers in various shapes and sizes.

Sometimes it might take a certain trial and error for getting the required foam roller that is suitable for you. Make sure that you try out various kinds of foam roller before you go ahead and purchase one that would really be suitable for you.

Some of the major foam rollers you might come across online are –

  • The smooth roller provides a smooth and dense foam surface. They are great for people that are new to foam rolling. Also, they provide even texture and are not that intense compared to textured roller. Of course, this option is quite less expensive.
  • Textured rollers provide and contain knobs and ridges on them. Also, they are used for working deeper into the muscles and workouts the various tensions and knots.
  • Foam covered massage sticks would be a great choice for deeply massaging your upper back and legs.
  • The foam massage balls are commonly used for targeting muscle areas. This is especially great for working out the knots present in the shoulders.

How to Begin Foam Rolling?

Sometimes you might not have foam rolled before. In that case, it is better to learn some basics just before you get started. There would be countless foam rolling for beginners from online videos. They would easily explain to you how to roll out the various parts of your body.

Else, you might be exercising at the gym using the foam roller. In that case, you can ask the trainer to walk you through how to use one. Plus, you can try the foam rolling classes for learning how to use it effectively.

Well, there are certain tips you can use before starting to use it.

  • Go with the light pressure and try to build up as and when you get used to the foam rolling. At first, it might be painful to foam roll as and when your muscles get tight. For adjusting the pressure, try to reduce the amount of bodyweight that you would be putting on the roller.

Now you might be rolling on the calf. In that case, you can use your arms for getting support to your body. This will take some of the bodyweights right from the roller.

  • The next step is to slowly roll the tender areas for about 10 seconds to begin. Then you can work up to 30 to 50 seconds right at a time.
  • After that, you can drink a lot of water just after doing foam rolling. This will help in the recovery.

Best Foam Rolling Moves You Can Follow

Some of them are –

1) Upper Back Roll

For this exercise, lie down by placing your back on the floor. Then you need to place the foam roller underneath your upper back and then cross your arms right in front of you. After that protract your shoulder blades.

Next, raise your hips off right from the ground and place your weight on the roller. After that, shift your weight to one side and then keep rolling to the upper till you reach the mid-back. Do with alternative sides.

2) Calf Roll

When you are seated, place a foam roller just underneath your lower legs with the other leg placed right on the floor. This is for supporting your weight.

After that, place your hands right on the side or just behind you. Then press down for raising your hips right off the floor and place your weight right against the calf muscles. Later, roll from the below the knee and to the ankle above. Continue to repeat this procedure on the opposite leg.

3) Groin Roll

For this exercise, lie face down by keeping one leg right on the top of the foam roller. Make sure that this is against the inner thigh. Continue to shift as much as weight right on the foam roll and as much as it can tolerate.

Along with that, you need to try relaxing your muscles present in the inner thigh. Then you need to roll over the area among your hip and knee. Continue repeating on opposite leg.

4) IT Band Roll

First, lie on your side by placing your legs right on the bottom of the foam roller. It needs to be between the knee and hip and the top leg needs to be crossed right in front of you.

Make sure to place as much as the weight that is tolerable right on the bottom leg. Then you need to roll your leg over the foam right from your hip to knee. Continue to repeat on the opposite leg.

5) Hamstrings Roll

While you are seated, try to extend your legs over the foam roller. Make sure that it is positioned right on the back of the upper legs. Next, place your hands on to the side of the behind of your for gaining good support to your weight.

Next using your hands, you need to lift your hips right from the floor and try to shift your weight present on the foam roll to one of your legs. Try to relax the hamstrings of your leg that you are stretching. Next roll over the foam right from below of your hip to the above right back to the knee. Continue to repeat this motion on your opposite leg.

6) Quadriceps Roll

For this exercise, lie face-down right on the floor using your weight to support it. You can use your hands or forearms. Next, place a foam roller right underneath on one of your legs and make sure to keep that foot right off the ground.

Here shifting as much as weight right onto the leg and stretching it to a tolerable position is fine. Then you must roll from above the knee and to the below of the hip. After that repeat it on the opposite side.

Wrapping Up

Now the best part of doing foam rolling moves is that it is apt for all kinds of exercises. Just after hardcore push-ups or sit-ups, you can do the foam rolling moves, to gain more muscle strength. Well, there is no doubt that this is a great exercise to increase your physical stamina.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.