Foam Rolling, or more technically, SMR (self-myofascial release) is essentially a more affordable way to give yourself a deep tissue massage.
It’s used to increase flexibility, joint range of motion, and decrease unwanted muscular tension. By slowly rolling over various areas of your body, you’ll speed up the recovery process after your workout. It will also increase blood flow to your muscles and create better mobility, improving your performance.
When should I be foam rolling?
Foam rolling prior to your workout can help to promote a better warmup by helping with blood flow. When your muscles work more efficiently, you can push harder and as a result, burn more calories during your workout. This can also help to loosen up tight areas, improving mobility and range of motion.
Rolling after a workout has its benefits as well – helping muscles to recover and reducing soreness. For post-workout rolling, go more slowly and hold the roller in spots for longer while breathing deeper into the movement.
Which roller should I use?
A large foam roller is more versatile and can be used to target larger body areas like your upper back. On the flip side, a half foam roller can target most parts of the body and has the portability factor.
Top tips for foam rolling:
- Roll SLOWLY, rolling too quickly won’t work as well. Roll each muscle group for a minimum of 2 minutes.
- If you hit a tight spot, HOLD on that spot for 30 seconds. You should feel the tension release slowly.
- Never roll on a joint or bone or roll your lower back or spine. Instead, position the foam roller parallel to the spine to target the upper-and mid-back.
- If an area is too painful to apply direct pressure, shift the roller and apply pressure on the surrounding area to gradually loosen.
- Drink plenty of water after you foam roll. Your body needs to rid itself of the lactic acid released after rolling.
National Fitness Manager, Anytime Fitness – Kate Allott
With a career spanning 10 years as a dancer, Kate has always been fascinated by human body movement. This active background launched her into a new career in personal training, before moving into the position of National Fitness Manager at Anytime Fitness Australia. Kate’s holistic view of health and fitness is driven by her passion to educate Australians about the link between physical fitness and mental health. For Kate, it’s all about wellness, movement, and doing what you love.