Get that hurt-so-good roll and focus on those muscles.
I’m sure you’ve seen those crazy gym junkies who are quick to grab this weirdly shaped piece of ‘equipment’ before or after a workout. They roll themselves, back and forth, until every part of their body has rubbed across the foam. They may look foolish to you, but really, you might just be the goof if you haven’t tried foam rolling yet.
Foam rolling is a popular warm-up and recovery tactic. Whether it is used before a run or after a particularly grueling lifting session, foam rolling can benefit you on your fitness journey as well as during your daily routine.
1. Reduce Chronic Back Pain Foam rolling most likely isn’t a permanent solution to chronic back pain, but it can certainly help release the painful knots, reduce inflammation, and relieve some of your discomfort and pain
2. Relieve Muscle Stiffness If you spend extended periods of time sitting – whether it’s at a desk, in a car, or on an airplane – Foam rolling can help decompress and relax those stiff muscles back to their natural position and release those trigger points.
3. Pre-Workout Rolling for Injury-Prevention Foam rolling increases circulation and helps prepare the body for movement by stretching and loosening the muscles prior to working out. This warm-up increases range of motion and reduces the risk of tears and strains.
4. Post-Workout Rolling for Recovery Foam rolling targets overworked muscle areas and prevents knots from building up afterward – which studies show reduces soreness and allows your muscles to recover quicker and more effectively.
5. Improve Posture Rolling can help flatten out rounded shoulders, realign your spine, even out muscle imbalances, and strengthen your core muscles which will help you stand taller and prevent unnecessary pressure on your spine.
6. Better Sleep Foam rolling before bed releases and relaxes the muscles where you’re carrying that extra tension, allowing for a more comfortable and restful night of sleep.
Foam rollers come in different textures and sizes. Your perfect roller depends on what you’re trying to target with your message. “Textured surfaces and raised ridges allow for more precise muscle targeting as you roll out the knots and trigger points. The intensity of foam rollers (less firm vs more firm) allows for gentler or deeper massages to achieve different results” (Teeter). Ultimately it comes down to personal preference; I personally enjoy a 13” waved foam roller. It is easy to drag around and is gentle enough on my muscles.
Fetters, K. Aleisha. “Here’s What Foam Rolling Is Actually Doing When It Hurts So Good.” SELF
, 21 July 2018,
Teeter. “What Does a Foam Roller Do and How Can It Help?” Teeter.com
, 24 Jan. 2019,