Let’s start with a question: what is foam rolling anyway?
Foam rolling also known as self-myofascial release is a massaging practice. The myofascial release itself has been used by therapists since forever but to do this yourself you will need some help in the form of a foam roller. The point of the practice is in a long dragging force. The release of the force should help with immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, and improving circulation. It’s not as great as having a professional do it but it’s good. Really good.
Which is why i highly recommend it to everybody who regularly exercises. It helps preventing injuries and promotes recovery time, which also means you can do more workouts in a shorter period of time and thus get better more quickly.
Ideally foam rolling should be done before and after the workout, but one or the other will do as well. Start with the calves. They are heavily hit by most forms of exercise and they’re also the easiest to foam roll, so win-win!
First get a foam roller, obviously 😉 But there are so many to choose from! So here are some tips.
Start with a pure foam roller of medium density. White ones are too soft even for beginners and you can progress to denser one if you feel like it. A blue or black one is definitely the version of foam roller i would recommend.
Grid versions have a hard center with foam coating. They’re generally pricier than other rollers but this does not mean that they’re more durable. In fact some tend to cave under your weight and just fall flat.
I would stay clear from spiky versions unless the spikes are really not that pronounced. They’re designed for deep tissue massage but are really too hardcore for most people and they’re also difficult to actually roll.
Do you already have a foam rolling routine? What do you use and how has it helped you? Let us know in the comments.