Foam Rolling. To Roll or not to Roll?

A Physiotherapist’s Dos and Don’ts

Foam Rolling was introduced the Physiotherapy and Strength and Conditioning World long ago. However, it has had huge uptake in the past 10 years as athletes are learning more about how to take care of their bodies. Foam Rolling, when performed correctly is believed to ‘iron out’ tight bands of muscular tissue. As always there’s a lot of info out there on the topic – here are my do’s and don’ts in relation to Foam Rolling.

  • Do figure out WHY the muscle is tight in the first place. A Chartered Physiotherapist can help you with this. Muscles tighten or are overactive for a reason and simply rolling it is not going to resolve the issue. This muscle will remain tight until you sort out what’s causing it to be tight!
  • Don’t roll prior to a run/performing in competition. Massage/rolling can reduce a muscles ability to perform at its best in the immediate time following the massage. Reference: Glasgow, Conway, McEvoy, Massage therapy in Elite Performance Sport. A review carried out on behalf of the Irish Institute of Sport 2010.
  • Don’t roll over bony points in the body such as the knee, outside of hips, ankles. It’ll only hurt and have no benefit. Roll only on the soft ‘meaty’ bit of muscle.
  • Do follow sound instructions. Myofascial Release Videos courtesy of my former colleagues at the Sports Surgery Clinic  Foam Rolling
  • Do use a high density foam roller, 6”*18”is a standard size to address most of the long muscles in the body.
  • Don’t spend too much money on a fancy Roller. Our friends in Sports Physio Supplies Ltd in Tipperary have what you need and will deliver Foam Rollers to buy online
  • Don’t just roll cause everyone else is doing it!

As always, I welcome your comments in response to this post. Happy to engage.

funny foam roll