by Patrick McHenry
Foam Rollers are a great way to loosen up the body to enhance a workout, increase Range of Motion (ROM) or recover after a workout. Foam rollers come in different levels of firmness that can impact how muscles react. A stiff foam roller will loosen up trigger points and a soft foam roller will massage the muscle.
A typical protocol is to lay on the foam roller and move it back and forth over the muscles in long strokes. If there is a point that is tender or “hurts” (some Physical Therapist call this a trigger point) then stop and hold the roller on that spot for approximately 8 seconds. After the 8 seconds, continue rolling up and down on the specific body part for 30-45 seconds before moving onto the next body part.
There are many different ways to start. My favorite is to start at the top of the shoulders by the neck and work my way down. After completing the back side, roll over and get the front of the body.
The training foam roller has the instructions printed on the roller for easy reference.