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How to Foam Roll—READ FIRST

How to Foam Roll

how to foam roll

This category is just as it describes, how to foam roll. There is never a time where I don’t recommend foam rolling to a client, whether personal training client or massage client. Foam rolling is a great way to relieve tension and over-tight muscles that may be prohibiting proper movement patterns and or causing pain.

The thing to remember with foam rolling is it’s not always going to feel great. On areas with extreme tension and tenderness it will almost feel unbearable. My recommendation is to start with a lighter density foam roller and use it consistently until your start to notice a significant difference in the muscle tissue.

Use a Massage Stick

massage stick

Another option would be to use a massage roller stick. Using a massage roller stick will allow you to dictate how much pressure you place on the muscle. It will also be beneficial for those of you that may have trouble getting down and up off of the floor.

When to Foam Roll

I always tell my active clients to foam roll before AND after they complete their workout. The goal is to release any tension in the muscles so that your muscle fibers are able to contract and release properly during exercises. If you go into a workout with knotted up, tight muscles, your muscles are not going to be as efficient due to the limited amount of contractile force they will be able to produce. Foam rolling will break up some of those knots and tight areas and allow more oxygen and blood flow into the muscle fibers.

how to foam roll

If you are not very active you should still foam roll regularly. I would say everyday until you notice a difference in the tension/tightness in your muscles. Keep in mind you may not always feel when muscles are tight or tender. I always have clients that never knew they were tender in certain muscles until I place pressure on them. So with that being said I included a list of muscles to foam roll that are most likely tender below.

Typically overactive muscles that You Should Foam Roll


Pectoralis Major/Minor





Avoid Foam Rolling for These Reasons

Be precautious of foam rolling if  you have or had a medical condition listed below. You may first want to consult your Dr before doing any foam rolling or self myofascial release techniques.

  • Osteoporosis
  • Blood clot
  • Aneurysm
  • advanced diabetes
  • Bursitis
  • Sutures
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Congestive heart failure
  • hypersensitive skin conditions
  • Skin Lesions
  • Organ Failure
  • Obstructive edema
  • Acute Rheumatois arthritis
  • Open wounds
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Phlebitis
  • Osteomyelitis

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