The Whys and Hows of Foam Rolling

What are some of the benefits of foam rolling?

Foam rolling isn’t just for avid exercisers. It can also be great for people who sit at a desk all day, have joint issues, poor posture or just sore muscles in general.

  1. Help ease muscle soreness and increase range of motion: foam rolling can help to increase blood flow and elasticity of muscle tissues and joints, which can help with mobility and a reduction of inflammation during the muscle repair process.
  2. Help relieve back pain: SMR can help ease pain in the body and may help release tension in the back.
  3. Help manage fibromyalgia symptoms: studies suggest that SMR may have promising results for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.
  4. Help you relax: reducing the tightness in your muscles may help you feel calmer and less tense.

How can you get started with foam rolling?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to have any experience with foam rolling or a workout routine to begin. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • It might be painful to foam roll at first if your muscles are tight, so start with light pressure and build on it over time. You can adjust the pressure by reducing the amount of body weight you’re putting on the roller.
  • Roll tender areas slowly for about 10 seconds. Work up to 30 to 60 seconds over time.
  • Hydration is key! Drinking water can help with recovery.

Beginning Foam Rolling Exercises


Step 1: Rest your neck on the foam roller.

Step 2: Turn your head to the right in a slow motion. Hold where you feel a tightness.

Step 3: Exhale and turn your head to the left.

Step 4: Repeat for 30 seconds.


Step 1: Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Position the foam roller under your calves.

Step 2: Lift your body up, so your weight is resting on the foam roller. If you are ready for added pressure, cross your right leg over your left.

Step 3: Slowly roll your left calf back and forth on the foam roller. Support yourself with your arms.

Step 4: Continue for 30 seconds. Then switch to the opposite leg and repeat.

Upper Back

Step 1: Start by lying on your back with the foam roller positioned under the upper part of your back. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Position your arms by your sides or crossed on your chest.

Step 2: Engage your core, and lift yourself up into a shallow bridge position.

Step 3: Slowly roll up and down between your lower neck and mid-back. Stop at tight areas to give them additional attention.

Step 4: Repeat for 30 seconds.

Foam rolling can be a little bit painful, especially when you’re just getting started. If you have pain in a specific area, that can mean your muscle is tight and might need extra attention. Ease into it, don’t push yourself too hard, and sensitivity should decrease the more you roll out the muscles.

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

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