If it doesn’t feel good yet, keep it up.
When foam rolling for the first time or after a long break, we are all in for a bit of a rough start. Akin to stretching ones’ muscles, foam rolling takes consistent practice to achieve the desired results and may be slightly uncomfortable in the beginning. We never want to foam roll through intense pain, but after a few sessions the natural soreness will inevitably turn into a delightful massage sensation. Keep it up and you will fall in love.
Not all foam rollers are created equal.
Diversify you foam rollers to have a variety of densities and textures. You will most likely find your favorite, and stick mainly to it, but there are times when a roughly knobbed foam roller can get into spots which your smooth foam roller just glazes over, and vice versa. Vibrating, length,
Don’t forget to get your sides.
When we are rolling out, it’s easy to neglect muscles that make up the lateral movement chains. Don’t be afraid to roll out the sides of your torso and legs. Take special care to get into to the lateral portions of muscles like the Latissimus Dorsi (Lower Shoulder) and the Vastus Lateralis (Outer Quad). The glutes, which are powerful muscles that hold a ton of tension are also great areas to focus on.
Don’t be afraid to pick up a ball.
Using a soft ball or lacrosse ball for smaller or more had to get areas, is a great tip. Simply roll your foot over them to get a nice foot massage or put your favorite ball into an old sock and hang it over your shoulder so you can roll out spots on your back. Simply position the ball in the sock in the spot you want to massage and lean up against a wall pressing the ball to desired pressure.
Vectors are everything. Get creative.
Vectors are objects that have both magnitude and direction. Each movable joint within the human body has a natural vector on which the movement of that joint occurs. Foam rolling is a great way to gently re-gain the natural movement of the joints and playing with different vectors is the key to doing so. Simple variations, like elevating one of both of your feet on blocks while rolling out one’s thoracic spine can help initiate movement into each vertebral space. Play around with angles while rolling out and any painless pops or cracks you hear are a sign of increased joint mobility and health.
Take a Course
If you have fallen in love with foam rolling like we did after our first forty-five days, you may want to make it a lifelong practice. Get certified by one of the many foam rolling certification courses is a great way to deepen your practice and provides an opportunity to share the wonderful art of foam rolling by teaching others.