Foam Roller

Foam rollers can be implemented into your training. Three basic uses for foam rollers are warm-up, therapy and prehab/rehab.

Warm-Up

During warm-up, the main goal is to concentrate on loosening up the muscles and increasing blood flow. For a complete warm-up, it can be combined with stretching and a dynamic workout.

For an effective foam roller warm-up, it’s suggested that shorter strokes of 15-20 in each area should be used. After the muscles start to loosen, lengthen the stroke of the roll.

Even though the strokes should be shorter in the beginning, you aren’t looking to do a lot of pressure point therapy or work on specific trigger points. Once again, it’s just to loosen the muscles and increase blood flow to the area.

Therapy

For self-massages, you’re going to want to start the same as you would for the warm-up. So, start small…then big, and really concentrate on what areas are tender and sore.

Go back to these areas and spend time putting pressure on them for more than 10, but no more than 60 seconds. Be sure to hit the major muscle groups along the spine as well as the glutes/lower extremity. You can use the foam rollers on your upper extremities, but they are better utilized for lower.

There is one thing I’d like to caution you on for this type of usage of the foam roller – don’t do it too frequently. Using the foam rollers often as self-therapy may make muscles extra sensitive and inflamed. It’s ok to do the warm-up on daily basis, just not the therapy. If you want to do it every day, I would suggest picking one different muscle group to work on each day.

Prehab/Rehab

When using the foam roller for the prehab/rehab aspect of training, you may want to start with the half roller. With it, you can train balance, stability and your core.

It’s mostly used for low back injuries, ankle or lower extremity work to improve balance and coordination.

Once you get better at these exercises, flip the foam roller over or use a full foam roller for more of a challenge

Types and Usages of Foam Rollers

The foam roller is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve recovery, restoration, aches, pains and flexibility. What looks to be a simple foam tube is one of the most grueling and (sometimes) painful accessories. The foam roller is great for myofascial release, stretching and posture.

Warm-Ups

Full Round

Foam Roller – white

AXIS Foam Roller

Prehab/Rehab

Half rollers


AXIS Foam Roller – half

AXIS Foam Roller – half small

Therapy

Small Full Round

AXIS Foam Roller – small

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About the Author

Dave Tate is the founder and CEO of elitefts.com, staffed by experienced professionals dedicated to providing strength coaches, athletes and trainers with the highest-quality equipment, personalized service and extensive knowledge needed to advance their training programs. Special thanks to Joe DeFranco, Zach Even-Esh, The Thinker, Julia, James "Smitty" Smith, Jim Wendler and Jason Pegg for their help with creating the content for all the exercises within this index.