When I was introduced to foam rolling, it completely changed my life. It increased my mobility and helped my flexibility. But, at the beginning, I was doing a few things wrong, and I want to share them so you can benefit from my mistakes. People tend to make three main mistakes when they foam roll.
Mistake 1 – Going Fast
When you foam roll really fast (taking only a few seconds to go back and forth), you don’t create enough pressure in a particular spot to break up any scar tissue that may have developed from stress or lifting. Foam rolling takes a little bit of time. You need to be patient. When you get a massage, the therapist doesn’t focus on one area of the body for a second, and then move on. They tend to focus a few minutes on each part of the body.
Mistake 2 – Staying in One Spot Too Long
Try to spend only 30 – 60 seconds lingering in a particular spot. If you go any longer, you place yourself at risk to injure the tissue or nerves, which can have long term, negative effects. If you feel a knot, don’t just lie on the foam roller in that spot the whole time. You need to apply pressure, then release it.
Mistake 3 – Where you Foam Roll
Just because you have one muscle that may be really tight doesn’t mean you have to roll it. If you feel pain in a particular area, it doesn’t mean that is the area that is actually tight. A number of different muscles may be imbalanced. You need to determine where the pain originates. I made a huge mistake in this area. I thought my shoulder was injured and I couldn’t lift. But after seeing a specialist, I learned it was the muscles in my back, attached at my hip, that were causing the problem. They started a chain reaction all the way up to my shoulder, down my arm, and on towards my thumb. By foam rolling my whole back, I was able to alleviate the pain and increase my mobility.