Foam rolling for beginners

Foam rolling is everywhere! Due to the increased popularity, you may have seen one at your local gym, physiotherapy or osteopathy clinic, sports retailer, or you might own one already.

Have you seen the expression upon someone’s face whilst they’ve been using a foam roller and wondered “what on earth are they doing?!” or “they look like they’re in pain, why are they doing it?”

What is a foam roller?

Foam rollers come in all lengths, colours and patterns, and have various uses for different parts of the body. A foam roller is a cylindrical shape of firm to hard foam – some are smooth whilst others have raised grooves.

What can foam rolling do for me?

Foam rolling is described as “self-myofascial release” by healthcare and fitness professionals. Fascia is a connective tissue within the body that covers, supports and separates the muscles. Therefore, by using a foam roller you can aid exercise and postural related muscle and fascial tightness.

There are many benefits to using a foam roller for individuals who exercise on a semi-regular basis to a competitive level, and for those who may be less active in their day-to-day lives.

Using a foam roller can help with a variety of issues. It aids athletic performance, muscular aches or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) following exercise, and improve range of motion.

It may also have a beneficial effect on circulation and the nervous system which may contribute to an improved recovery time after exercise.

How do I use a foam roller?

You can use the foam roller in multiple ways. You should consult your healthcare practitioner before commencing a foam rolling routine to tailor techniques for you as an individual, and to avoid injury.

  1. First, find the point of tenderness in a muscle, then rock that area slowly back and forth over the foam roller.
  2. Alternatively, a “held” position for approximately thirty seconds with weight over a trigger point can also stimulate myofascial release.
  3. The pressure should be at an effective and bearable level, not excessively painful.
  4. It is important to take your time and to focus whilst foam rolling so that you can “tune in” to your level of discomfort (and to avoid excess pain), and the areas of muscular tension. Three to five minutes on each body area should be sufficient to achieve desired results.
  5. You can manipulate the foam roller by using different positioning and posture to work on other areas of the body. When properly directed the roller can be used on the back, shoulders, thighs, lower leg, feet, pelvis, and forearms.


Although there are many benefits to foam rolling it needs more research.

We hope this information is useful for you. If you have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us  in Islington and in Mill Hill Broadway. If you like this blog, please share!


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