Why Use a Foam Roller?
Foam rolling provides self soft-tissue mobilization or SSTM. The benefits of SSTM include improved muscle flexibility and tightness, decreased lactic acid, decreased muscle fibrosis (adhesions/scar tissue), and decreased risk of injury. Using one’s own body weight applies pressure through the muscles in order to regulate the areas of increased muscle tone or tightness.
How to Use a Foam Roller
It is important NOT to roll over bony areas (like the knee) or areas with an open wound or injury (unless instructed by a medical professional). Always roll in line with the muscles and at a SLOW PACE. When rolling over a tight, painful area or muscle knot, slow down the speed and stay on top of this area for 20-30 seconds, or until a muscle release is felt. If it is too painful to stay on top of this area, then decrease the force by unweighting the area. When finished rolling, make sure you drink plenty of water, just like after a massage.
See below for more on tutorial videos focusing on individual muscle groups.