You already know the foam roller is a crucial addition to your fitness routine, but do you know how to use it correctly? Here are eight bad habits you’ll want to avoid:
Avoid bad posture—which creates more tension and stress in your body—by being mindful of your alignment while using the roller. Try to avoid straining your wrist joints while rolling by activating your arm muscles. Also, be sure to engage your core and practice good posture during your rolling session. Be present and aware in your body and foam rolling can be like a moving meditation with body scanning and enhanced awareness.
Don’t Be Too Aggressive
This a great time to tune into, connect with and feel your body. You want to release the layers like peeling back an onion, so think of the connective tissue just above your muscles letting go first. Try not to go beyond “hurts so good” to avoid injuring yourself.
Don’t Hold Your Breath
Breathing feeds your tissue oxygenated blood and helps release the excess stress and tension to increase circulation. Plus, breathing while you’re rolling will help you go a little deeper.
Don’t Roll Too Quickly
The whole point of rolling is to increase circulation, blood flow, range of motion and flexibility, so take your time tuning in to each area. You want to allow your neuromuscular system to let go and relax. Use slow and mindful moves to get the best results.
Don’t Roll Over Bony Joints
Avoid rolling directly over joints like your knees. Applying pressure could make you hyperextend your joints. It’s good to get close to the attachment of the joints, but best not to go over them.
Don’t Roll On the Lumbar Spine
It’s not recommended to roll back and fourth on the lower back because it can create too much pressure or force on your discs and vertebra. There are other ways to get a release in the lower back, by placing the roller under your hips and then rolling your hips back and fourth.
Don’t Roll for Too Long
You don’t want to cause further inflammation by rolling each area for too long. Just a few minutes on each area will do the trick!
Don’t Think of It As JUST A Massager
Use it as a workout tool, too! It can mimic many Pilates core exercises done on the reformer. Check out this awesome foam roller workout to get you started.