The term “hurts so good” explains foam rolling pretty well. Yes, foam rolling can hurt- it is loosening up your muscles and removing unwanted knots and trigger points, but the results are worth it!
Foam rolling before a hard workout will make your workout or run feel easier. Moving back and forth on a foam roller warms up and loosens your muscles. Foam rolling may even elevate your breathing and heart rate, and psychologically prepare you for a sweat session. This self-massage may stimulate the release of neurotransmitters that boost relaxation and fight fatigue. Pre-run rolling relieves excess tension from a previous run or workout, which can help your muscles function better.
If you are new to foam rolling, heres how to use it: Start by rolling the inside, outside, and middle of a muscle slowly all the way from joint to joint. However, do not go over the joint, just foam roll the muscle tissue. If you feel a tender part of muscle, remain rolling on that spot until you no longer feel tension there.
The big foam roller is great for self massage when using your bodyweight for pressure, but if you want to target smaller muscle groups, a hand held roller works great!
*Bonus* if you have someone roll you with a small, handheld roller, they might be able to find and remove knots that you can’t get.
Foam rolling can, and should, be done pre and post workout for the best results! I know, this seems like a lot of work, but it is worth it and you will see a difference in your overall performance!