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How to Get the Most From Foam Rolling

You may have heard that using a foam roller can help with tight muscles, knots of tension, and muscle recovery. Learning to use the foam roller is tough. That’s why we see massage therapists to work away the tension in our body for us. They know the techniques. The current social distancing measures are an opportunity to learn how to massage your muscles to release tension while at home. There are several steps you can take to get the most benefits from foam rolling: get a foam roller, wear the right thing, and learn to use it in Roll & Release on the MLPC.

The first step is choosing the right foam roller for you, it should be a color that you like. See our advice in the previous posting here: “How to Choose a Foam Roller”.

The second step is to wear the right thing. You should wear comfortable clothes that aren’t too lose. If too loose, the clothes will get stuck while you roll. I like to wear Nike workout pants. They’re close fitting so I can easily move on the foam roller without excess fabric getting caught. For a top, I like a similarly well-fitting sports top, T-shirt, or light sweater. I also wear them for yoga making it easy for me to foam roll before or after I practice. Ultimately, it’s your personal preference and what works best for you. Be sure to empty your pockets to avoid rolling on a tube of chapstick, a card, or worse keys!

The third step is to learn how to use it. It is helpful to have someone show you how, come to Roll & Release where I created a full body routine incorporating some common techniques and some from physical therapists I have worked with. These are combined with breathing techniques and yoga postures to help release tension in the body. Each week we warm up with therapeutic movement, roll on the foam roller, then enjoy a savasana. Sometimes we use massage or tennis balls to target specific areas such as the trapezius muscles. It’s a great way to recover during a 30 day yoga challenge, from other sports, and life.

Before class, I enjoy some light exercise. You could go for a short walk, do some of your favorite yoga poses and a few sun salutations, or take a yoga class with Jillian, her class is before mine, or your favorite flow from the MLPC archive. Before I teach Roll & Release I enjoy Jillian’s yoga flow class 7 pm GST. I find a little or a lot of exercise helps my body before using the foam roller.

Get to know Sara better in her MLPC interview with Yasir here.

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