Foam Rolling: 101

by team obé

Ah, the foam roller. Most likely you’ve seen this cylindrical, dense, possibly spiky piece of equipment lurking around your gym or local fitness class, looking more like a “medieval torture device” and less like a “traveling masseuse.” We see them being sold by fitness influencers on the ‘gram, and we’ve heard that “foam rolling is SO good for you!” 

But, what exactly does that mean? And where do we begin?

The team at obé has put together some helpful hints to get the ball “rolling”! (pun intended). If you don’t have a foam roller, we love this one

What is “Foam Rolling”?

Foam rolling is a method of self-massage that allows you to apply deep pressure to certain points of the body that may be retaining excess muscular tension/tightness. Adding foam roller exercises into your workout routine can help prevent muscle soreness, tightness, increase flexibility, and improve overall performance!  

How often should I foam roll?

Ideally, 1x/day; in 10-20 minute session (our trainers have created some sample Express Foam Rolling routines to get you started, which we’ve included below!!)

Focus specifically on areas that hold more tension and are overactive/tight. Common areas needing release:

  • Calves
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • IT Band
  • Quads
  • Adductors
  • T-spine/Mid-back (be mindful of rolling Low Back/Lumbar Spine)
  • Lats

What are the benefits of foam rolling?

Benefits of Foam Rolling/Self-Myofascial Release (SMR):

  1. Promotes blood flow
  2. Breaks down scar tissue
  3. Reduces pain/soreness (especially post-workout!)
  4. Increases range of motion, mobility, and flexibility
  5. Relaxes muscles that may be tight (especially from sitting at a desk all day!)

Anything to avoid/be mindful of when using SMR?

  1. Be cautious when rolling your back; stick to mid/upper areas. The lower spine will contract to protect your back and this can be very uncomfortable.
  2. Avoid quick movements. Focus on slow control, and pause when you hit an area of excess tension.
  3. BREATHE!  Foam rolling can be uncomfortable; exhale into the work as you would in an Obé class exercise.
  4. Do not worry about rolling evenly on each side.  We generally have one side that is dominant and/or tighter than the other. Place more focus on the areas that need work.

Ready to tackle your first foam rolling routine? Watch our Express class with Melody D. below!


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