Did you know?

You’re Probably Foam Rolling Wrong

by Meaghan posted July 18, 2017

First, has anyone tried this new contoured foam roller? It looks AMAZING…

 

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More importantly, did you know you’re probably foam rolling wrong? I know, I know. For years we said there was no real right or wrong – before a workout, after a workout, on your off days: ALL good. Personally, it always made more sense to me to foam roll before working out to get your body through the necessary ranges of motion in training and prevent compensations that could lead to injury. We didn’t have much research to back this up (or refute it), but it certainly made logical sense to me.

Good news: We actually have some research on foam rolling now. Granted, it’s new and still not abundant by any means. BUT, it’s starting to suggest that the effects of foam rolling are largely neurological in nature – AND extremely short-lived. Not like a few hours short-lived, but a couple of minutes. That is to say, the release of tension we get from foam rolling may already be diminished by the time we even START our workout – especially if we do a full-body foam roll. The mobility effects in the lower body could be gone by the time we finish foam rolling the upper body!

SO, perhaps we need to rethink our strategy when it comes to foam rolling. We seem to see the best LONG-term mobility effects when we follow up our foam rolling with static stretching (PNF seems best), and then it’s up to us to immediately gain stability and strength through our newfound range of motion if we want lasting change in structure and/or pain relief. That said, it may be best to intersperse both foam rolling AND stretching for specific areas strategically throughout a workout rather than doing it only at the beginning or end.

Food for thought!

Filed under: Did You Know?, exercise programs, tips for trainers, workout tips

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