If you exercise regularly and haven’t tried a foam roller yet, you’re sorely missing out. Anyone wanting a good muscle stretch and release could really benefit from using one – when used properly, they can help aching muscles heal more quickly, relieve muscle tightness and hard to reach trigger points, and provide a sort of self deep-tissue massage. It can be used pretty much all over the body, depending on where you need it and what type of exercise you do, and the affordability has fitness gurus everywhere taking advantage.
While foam rollers can make a serious, positive difference to your body, there are specific techniques to using one. Try out these ten stretch and release foam roller tips to help you reap the benefits and avoid hurting yourself…
1. Know the Right Level of Pain
It’s best to be honest up front—using a foam roller isn’t going to feel good in the way a soft-tissue massage or soaking in a bathtub might. It’s definitely a case that fits the saying “no pain, no gain”, though the pain shouldn’t be severe and should be more like discomfort. That said, the results will be more than worth it and give you greater relief than many other forms of muscle and trigger point release.
The reason foam rollers are so effective is because they dig deep where you need it, so you’ll have to withstand a bit of discomfort in order to get the release your muscles need. Technically, the discomfort or light pain should lessen if you regularly target problem areas and spend the time needed to work through your muscle issues. Eventually pain significantly decreases as your muscles and trigger points release from using the foam roller. So when using one, put enough pressure to cause some discomfort but pay attention and don’t cause sharp, searing pain.