DO's & DON'Ts OF FOAM ROLLING

ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR BEGINNERS (AND VETERANS)

It goes without saying: we’re pretty big advocates of foam rolling and how it can support whole-body health. With that said, it’s not totally foolproof. Here are a few easy rules we like to abide by to ensure we’re taking the best care of our body possible.
 


DO
…make it hurt so good. Let’s face it: foam rolling hurts a little, but in the best way. If you practice yoga, you’ve probably heard of this referred to as “comfortable discomfort.” Over time, as you become more limber, this sensation will become less intense.

DON'T

…make it hurt so bad. If you’re experiencing sharp or unbearable pain, stop rolling that area immediately. If an area is too sore to apply pressure to, roll around the sore spots to loosen up the surrounding muscle.

 

Spend at least 30 seconds rolling over each knot or tight spot

DO
…go slowly. Spend at least 30 seconds rolling over each knot or tight spot, giving it a little extra love. Consistent pressure over a period of time helps loosen your muscles and stretches your fascia (the connective tissue that holds your muscles in place), helping you become more flexible over time.

DON’T
…roll so long you make yourself even more sore. After all, foam rolling should make you feel better, not worse. A good period of time is right around 10 - 15 minutes, which is long enough to adequately warm up your fascia, boost your circulation, and even tap into the meditative benefits of foam rolling.


DO
…make it a habit. Rolling regularly makes you more limber, less prone to injury, and can even have calming effects on your mental and emotional health.

DON'T
…expect instant results. Sometimes, you might feel pretty quick relief, but you’ll see the most impactful results with a consistent and regular practice.

DO
…make an appointment with a physical therapist if you have any long lasting neck or back pain that is not relieved with regular foam rolling. While the foam roller is a great tool to help you maintain a healthy spine, and is perfect for keeping your major lower-body muscles limber (i.e. - glutes, hips, groin, and hamstrings) which will help combat most causes of low back pain.

If the pain persists and seems to be getting worse, you should contact your doctor.

DON’T
…roll over joints or bones, or directly on areas like the low back or neck. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to roll with your full body weight over your lower spine or on your neck as these areas can be quite sensitive. Check out the Morph Mobility Deck for routines and moves that can help you work through neck and low back pain.