How often do I foam roll?
Generally, foam rolling large muscle groups (such as the quads, hamstrings, calves, etc.) can be done once or twice a day for 30 seconds up to a minute or more. The amount of pressure will depend on your level of soreness and your comfort level. Foam rollers vary in terms of softness and can range from being very soft, to very hard and stiff (for a deeper and more intense massage); therefore, it is best to try a few different types in order to get a foam roller that is suitable for your needs. Depending on the area being rolled out, this procedure can be a bit uncomfortable – but it should not be causing you any sharp or shooting pain when rolling.
When do I foam roll and why does it help?
Foam rolling can be done before or after a workout/exercise session of any kind (or both!). It can also be done periodically throughout the day, when you wake up, or before bed. It is also beneficial to foam roll when your muscles are feeling tight and sore, or when your physical therapist recommends it – such as part of your rehabilitation exercise program! After your workout, rolling out the main muscles used has been shown to decrease the incidence of muscle soreness post-workout by temporarily increasing blood flow to the rolled muscles. This increase in blood flow contributes to more rapid muscle restoration and healing post-exercise. Alongside some dynamic warm-up exercises, gentle foam rolling before working out has been shown to increase muscle flexibility without decreasing muscle force production. This means that you can still lift weights and move around normally during your workout with an increase in your joint range of motion.
If you have any questions about foam rolling and its benefits, or if you would like a personal review of a foam rolling exercise for your rehabilitation program set out by any of our physiotherapists, please contact us at (709) 757-3310 or online at www.riversidewellness.ca