How to Use a Foam Roller


Feeling sore after a good workout at the gym? That’s great! Thinking of taking tomorrow off so that you can recover? No need. Keep up the momentum in your workout program by pushing yourself to go back every day, regardless of how tired or sore you feel when finally getting into bed. The secret to making this happen is to invest a little bit of time and energy into restorative therapies, like foam rollers.

What is a foam roller?

The foam roller is a very simple spherical device. About two feet long and usually between 6-10 inches in diameter, the foam roller is designed to help ease the tension in your sore muscles by helping to massage muscles and tendons in targeted movements after a strong workout. Foam rollers are great for soreness in the back, legs, and shoulders, and is recommended for those who are feeling soreness after a big workout at the gym, as well as soreness associated with sitting for long hours in a desk chair or following a long commute.

Here is how to get started with a foam roller:

  • Start by laying the foam roller on the floor. You need to choose a flat and smooth surface (not the grass!). If possible, lay a yoga mat on the floor and use the foam roller on top of the exercise mat.
  • Lay with your back on the foam roller, positioning the roller just underneath your hips. Your feet should be flat on the ground and your arms at your sides.
  • Carefully move your body up and down along the mat so that the roller massages the muscles in your back and legs as you move. Repeat the motion up and down as many times as you can.

The best time to use a foam roller is soon after your workout, while your muscles are still warm. You can also try this before going to bed or when you wake up in the morning, especially after taking a shower. Keep in mind that while the roller is going to massage your muscles, your movements should be gentle.

The foam roller is a great tool for easing back pain from stiffness associated with long periods of sitting, as well as tired muscles from working out. If you are experiencing back pain associated with an injury then you ought to consult with your doctor before trying a foam roller.