1

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Do you use a foam roller?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2011 at 1:42 AM

Patrik, feel free to close this if it's too far off topic.

Do you use a foam roller? If so, how, when, etc.

I'm just curious as it seems more and more of the active posters on here are lifters, cross fitters, and generally athletic people. These people have a lot of good input regarding food so I thought I'd see what they think about foam rolling.

I've been foam rolling since I started lifting because, well, everyone said to. Lately I've read a couple articles saying that it's a waste of time and possibly detrimental. I'm not sold on this new idea but thought I'd see what the peanut gallery says.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 03, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Yeah, always post workout and sometimes before bed when I remember/have the time/am not doing anything else.

94e89cc96d5a58b71f36b369b8082999

(767)

on May 19, 2011
at 04:53 PM

For hamstrings, I sit on the roller with one leg on the roller and the other crossed on top of that leg. I then put my hands on the ground and push myself back and forth. Try to find the spots that are extra sensitive and work them hard. This is the process I use for my adducters, IT band, calves, etc. as well.

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 19, 2011
at 04:38 AM

would you mind explaining how you foam roll your legs? I have horribly short hamstrings and stretching helps some, but it's never quite enough.

E5d59ab6d79320caf1e991cdc7971326

(801)

on May 19, 2011
at 01:46 AM

Can you post the links to any articles saying it's a waste of time or detrimental?

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8 Answers

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on May 19, 2011
at 02:52 AM

I used the foam roller only when I have a tight spot that I need to loosen up. I've never used them after every workout. I do love the way it hurts so good, though, when you get just the right spot with the right pressure.

3
F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on May 19, 2011
at 02:26 AM

I do it every once in a while. I do okay with the foam roller, but I saw a lot more improvement with the inclusion of mobility WOD.

I don't do crossfit, but I noticed a really big difference in how I walk and lift with the MWOD. If you decide to do it, go back to the beginning and start there. It hurts, it's not necessarily fun, but the difference is worth it.

I got the recommendation for lacrosse balls as sort of a weird foam roller hack from MWOD, and they work better for small areas. I still pull out the foam roller when I need to hit a bigger spot, or go to see my a.r.t. specialist when it's really bad.

If you can afford it (or insurance covers it), I'd suggest going to see an A.R.T. specialist. It basically re-works how you move your muscles, and fixes any movement issues. Think of a full body muscle movement with the benefits of a foam roller. Between the MWOD stuff and a.r.t., I feel a lot better than I did before. No shoulder mobility issues, no carpal tunnel pain, and my i.t. band and calves aren't tight, so I can walk and stand correctly.

Conclusion? I like foam rollers, but I do better with a lot of different things than simply one tool. Foam rolling is a tool, there's more in the box, and I like it, I just don't find it to be the end-all fixit tool that some trainers or people find it to be.

2
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 19, 2011
at 01:54 AM

ive never heard that its a waste of time. my trainer recommended it to me and showed me how to use it pretty recently. my chiro, who i trust in all things and was a powerlifer, marathoner and yoga teacher also recommended it for me, so i got one on amazon for pretty cheap. i still have a hard time (PAIN!) using it on my IT bands, but i loooove it. im the type that gets monthly sports massage and feels like i wasted my time unless i walk away from it bruised.

ive noticed a difference, but i also started doing a bunch of the "exercises" from mobility WOD that have really helped my joint/tendon/connective tissue and general mobility issues. its a wonderful tool, IMHO.

im not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination- just someone with a lot of kinks to work out. i use it at the gym right after working out, and at home in the living room as im watching tv and stuff at night. if you like the foam roller, i would also suggest looking into some yin yoga. it feels incredible.

1
A4d49e0dbea9544eb2f86624e2adc7fd

(172)

on May 19, 2011
at 02:38 AM

I love my foam roller, my lacrosse balls, and my squash balls as forms of torture for me. They all hurt like SOB's and my husband wonders what the heck I'm doing to myself because I am swearing and making terrible faces. I try to do it at least once a week... and I certainly don't look forward to it. I do feel better afterward with notable increases in range of motion because of myofascial release. Totally worth it!!

1
94e89cc96d5a58b71f36b369b8082999

on May 19, 2011
at 01:57 AM

Could you link to some of the anti-foam rolling articles you read?

Personally, foam rolling has been a god-send. I always had terrible flexibility in my legs. A few months ago, I began foam rolling for about 5 minutes a day over my hamstrings, adducters, quads, and calves. My flexibility increased beyond where it had ever been, and I wasn't even stretching. It also helped me reduce soreness after heavy squats.

I've also begun rolling my pecs and shoulders to reduce tightness in my upper back; after only a few sessions, I feel better. I'm sold on foam rolling.

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 19, 2011
at 04:38 AM

would you mind explaining how you foam roll your legs? I have horribly short hamstrings and stretching helps some, but it's never quite enough.

94e89cc96d5a58b71f36b369b8082999

(767)

on May 19, 2011
at 04:53 PM

For hamstrings, I sit on the roller with one leg on the roller and the other crossed on top of that leg. I then put my hands on the ground and push myself back and forth. Try to find the spots that are extra sensitive and work them hard. This is the process I use for my adducters, IT band, calves, etc. as well.

0
1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on July 03, 2012
at 08:02 PM

I love my foam roller. I use it post-workout, after a bit of static-type stretching, and it seems to prevent tightness and other aches and pains. If I skip it, I'm in trouble the next day. I've also used it to work kinks out of my upper back and IT band. My husband and I call it "going to the Pain Cage" because it can be awful, but in an awfully good way. I also own a Rumble Roller, which is like the Pain Cage x 100, and is great for breaking stuff up, but you need to sort of change position on it a lot lest the knobs only hit one part of the muscle when you use it.

0
76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

on July 03, 2012
at 07:33 PM

I think my foam roller needs new batteries...I can't seem to roll into a spot that hurts and then roll it out...I've tried to go slower or faster...but it doesnt' seem to do much for me, but I'm not about to give up!

They see me roll'n...they hate'n...

Truth.

0
38d04319d4da436e557a7e6823d85d98

on July 03, 2012
at 07:15 PM

From personal experience I've gain a good deal of mobility and flexibility. It's almost the same as getting a deep tissue massage, just not as good but still worth the investment.

The first time I went for a deep tissue massage I noticed my traps and calves were extremely sore afterwards. I didn't have the time and money to undergo deep tissue massage frequently and decided to try foam rollers.

It helped alleviate the tightness in my calves and I no longer have issues in my right ankle when sprinting or running. It also helped my form when squatting and dead lifting as well as doing cleans.

It's only detrimental if you use the roller over a joint like the knee and elbows or lower back. The pressure should be on the muscles and not the joints.

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