"i think i'm doing this right. is it supposed to hurt this much? i'm kinda sweating, do i count this as part of my workout? how long should i do this? i wonder who Jojo sent home last night on The Bachelorette," ...thoughts we've all had while rolling around on a foam roller. well most of us, right? plenty of us skip this part of our training because it can be uncomfortable, it takes a while, and it's not even that important, right? wrong.
foam rolling is the best way to show your muscles that you [heart] them. by applying the rolling pressure, you are breaking up the inflammation, knots + tightness around your muscles that accumulate from training, and supplying these areas with increased circulation to make recovery happen even faster. foam rolling is the most cost-effective + convenient way to massage your muscles regularly. whether you're new to foam rolling, or you've mastered the roll + just need a refresher course, here are our 3 tips to using a foam roller like a pro:
1. pick a good one: not all foam rollers are created equal. in fact, they come in all different shapes, sizes + firmness, depending on your needs. if you're new to foam rolling, we recommend starting out with the GRID foam roller from TriggerPoint. why we love it: the firmness of this foam roller is not too hard, not too soft, it's juuuuust right. if you're using a foam roller that's too soft, you could be missing out on all the foam-tastic benefits because you're not applying enough pressure to the dense tissue build-up surrounding your muscles. if you're using a foam roller that's too firm, it's not going to just be uncomfortable - it's going to hurt. for our seasoned foam-rollers, we recommend using the GRID X from TriggerPoint - it's more firm and allows you to apply more pressure to the muscles you're rolling. plus, it's red on the inside...and you know how we love our red! 😍
2. let it linger: when you get to rolling, spend about 60-90 seconds on each major muscle. when you find a tender spot, go ahead and apply continuous pressure to the knot. when the discomfort becomes bearable, keep rolling around it to smooth out the tightness. it's going to be quite uncomfortable, so we recommend doing this in front of a mirror to get a good look at your #foamrollingface.
3. don't do it just when it hurts: do you think it's just a coincidence that we included a "flexibility" section in fitbook every single day? not a chance! when you "go for a roll", your muscles are getting the tender love + affection they so desperately need. muscle tissue that isn't regularly rolled out is more likely to be tight, inflamed, slow to recover, and prone to injury. you're grateful for the things your body gives you every day, so take some time to proactively protect it from getting injured in the future.
so what have we learned (besides the fact that #foamrollingface is a thing)? well, to borrow from Nike's playbook, just do it! it may be a little uncomfortable, it may seem unnecessary, but trust us, those tight, sore muscles will thank you! TIP: keep your foam roller conveniently in front of your TV as a visual reminder to get rollin'. it's a perfect way to multitask your tube time!
how often are you foam rolling??
share your tips in the comments below!