ust an extra part of your routine, using foam roller with proper techniques is a must. Easy as it looks, maintaining bad habit while using foam roller can lead to several consequences. It will hamper your recovery progress or even cause injury. So, no matter you are an amateur or professional, avoid these six mistakes to maximize the benefits of foam rolling:
USING WRONG ROLLERS
Foam rollers are available with a wide range of choices – from shape and size to density and firmness. Each one will serve a specific using purpose and muscle tension level. Pick a random roller mindlessly can lead to unpleasant using experience or ineffective result.
How to fix: Beginner should start with a soft foam roller which is made of PE foam for the gentlest feeling. Once you get used to the feeling, move on to a firm EPP foam roller for a better massage. Only use deep tissue foam roller when you are experienced with the pain feeling.
ROLLING TOO FAST
Many people try to get over foam rolling as fast as possible since it feels too painful sometimes. But “good pain” is what you should expect with foam rolling. The pressure it put on your body over time is what it takes to trigger blood flow and alleviate muscle tensions. Rushing will not give it enough time to release tense and knotted fascia around your muscle tissues.
How to fix: Take it slow. If the pain is too bad, take a deep breath and reduce the pressure of your rolling. Relaxation is a necessary key to full recovery.
USING WRONG POSTURES
You may not realize it but foam rolling is actually a kind of exercises. You will have to use strength to hold your body while rolling over a specific part. If you maintain a wrong posture, you will not only gain no benefit but also make your pre-existing condition worse.
How to fix: Maintain a good posture during your exercises. If you have no idea about how to use a foam roller, check it out right here.
ROLLING DIRECTLY ON WHERE YOU FEEL PAIN
When people feel the pain in a certain area, the first intention that comes to their mind is to roll directly on it. But our body is a complicated machine, and it doesn’t work that way. For example, the pain you feel in your IT band may actually come from the tension in your glutes. So to stop the pain, you should roll over your glutes, not your IT band.
How to fix: Identify the source of your pain. If you cannot, go with the area around where you feel pain before rolling directly over it.
STAYING TOO LONG ON ONE PART
Rolling over a certain part too long won’t help treat the pain faster. Oppositely, sustaining the pressure on your muscles can cause bruising and make the inflammation worse. Yes, you should feel pain after foam rolling, but it should last only within 30 minutes. If it lasts longer, you must have overdone.
How to fix: Every muscle group should be rolled only for 20 seconds, then move on the others. The whole rolling time shouldn’t last longer than 10 minutes.
ROLLING TOO OFTEN OR ONLY ON WORKOUT DAYS
Daily physical activities can also tighten up your muscles, especially if you have to sit all day long. The tightness comes from the decrease in your range of motion, and you probably can realize it after a hard day at work. However, rolling with foam roller every day isn’t good for you either. Just like being hit after a workout, your muscles need time to heal and recover after each rolling.
How to fix: Foam roll every other day. This provides your body enough the massage it needs while allowing time to rest.
FORGETTING YOUR BREATH
Proper breathing helps relax and loosen your muscle, allows the foam roller to impact deeper tissues. But when rolling makes they feel pain, people tend to hold their breath, which causes the muscle to tighten up. This will even make it feel more painful and hamper your recovery progress.
How to fix: Focus on your breath, slowly breathe in and out every time you roll up and down over a spot.