Foam rollers are everywhere these days, and it seems a lot of people have jumped on the foam rolling bandwagon. Foam rollers are great tools, but just like with any other exercise, form is important and so is using it correctly. Here are the biggest foam rolling mistakes to make.
Roll Where You Feel Pain
When rolling out your muscles, you may be tempted to focus on the spots where you feel pain. This may be a mistake, mostly because areas where you feel pain are usually the result of other imbalances in the body. The rule is to go indirect before direct. If you find a sensitive spot ease away from that area a few inches. You should take the time to work the smaller areas around where you’re feeling sore before using larger motions.
Rolling too Fast
Rolling too fast is another mistake people tend to make. It may feel good to roll up and down quickly but it’s not going to help you that way. The point of foam rolling is to help your muscles to relax and then stretch out, so give your brain time to let you muscles know it’s time to relax. Achieve this by slowing down a bit. Feel the tender slots and use short, slow rolls around the spot.
Spending too Much Time on Knots
Many times you are told that if you feel a knot then you need to spend time working it with the foam roller. The key is to not spend too much time there. If you place sustained pressure on one body part you may hit a nerve or damage the tissue, which can lead to bruising. Try to spend no more than 20 seconds on a knot and then keep going. Also pay attention to how much body weight you use. Try to take some of the weight off by planting a foot on the floor as you roll out the other leg, for example.
Bad posture tends to hinder a lot of things, and foam rolling is one of them. It’s important to hold your body in certain positions over the roller and that require strength. If you fail to pay attention to your posture or your form you may actually make things worse for yourself instead of better. The best thing to do is to work with someone who knows what they’re doing and learn proper form, like your chiropractor! You can also videotape yourself while you do it, that way you can see what you’re doing wrong and try to fix it.
Using a Foam Roller on Your Lower Back
Don’t foam roll you’re lower back. Ever. Just don’t do it! It can cause your spinal muscles to contract in order to protect the spine and that can have the reverse impact of what you’re trying to do. It’s fine to use the roller on your upper back because the shoulder blades protect the spine but once you hit the end of the rib cage you need to stop. If you want to release your lower back then try child’s pose or roll out your hip flexors, your quads or your glutes.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.