Skip Nav
Workouts
Grab a Pair of Dumbbells, and Get Ready to Burn Fat With This 40-Minute HIIT Workout
Being Kind to Yourself While Losing Weight
body positivity
I Tried Everything to Lose Weight After Having Children, but This Is What Actually Worked
Weight Loss Tips
Feeling Puffy and Bloated? Try These 8 Tips From Dietitians to Lose Water Weight
What's the Best Diet For Long-Term Weight Loss?
Weight Loss
If You Want to Lose Weight and Keep It Off, a Doctor Says to Skip Keto and Intermittent Fasting
Does Counting Calories Help You With Weight Loss?
Weight Loss
An Expert Explains Why a Calorie Deficit Isn't Helping You Lose Weight — Here's How to Fix It

How to Foam Roll

You've Been Foam Rolling All Wrong — Here's How a Trainer Suggests You Do It

It seems like every gym has an abundance of foam rollers lying around. They're a great tool to use before or after a workout or when you just really need to give your sore muscles some TLC. But most people don't know that there is a correct way to foam roll — and it's only when you do it the right way that you see (and feel) the positive results.

"A lot of people roll back and forth or 'knead' their muscles on the roller, instead of holding pressure on the tender spots," Diksha Gautham, NASM, CPT in training, explained to POPSUGAR. "Many people roll too quickly, and most of us naturally tend to tense up instead of relaxing during the foam rolling process." In fact, if you look around the gym, this is exactly how you see most people using their foam roller.

Tensing up when you're foam rolling is counterintuitive to what you're trying to accomplish, though. "It's important to try your hardest to let your muscles relax in order to get the most out of foam rolling," Diksha said. That's why you should focus on one spot; that allows you to really hone in and ease into it.

So what's the correct way to foam roll? Here's what Diksha has to say: "Roll slowly on the roller until you find a tender spot on your muscle. Hold the pressure there for around 20-30 seconds, until the uncomfortable feeling begins to slowly reduce. Keep rolling on your muscle until you find a few of these uncomfortable spots, and repeat."

If you've never done it this way before, you're in for a really, er, memorable experience. It can be quite painful at first, especially if your muscles are really tight, but if you stick with it, you'll reap the many rewards in the long run. Diksha told POPSUGAR that foam rolling can "remove knots and free up our muscle tissue to move optimally."

"When we sit in one position for a long time, have poor posture, or do repetitive movements, the soft tissue in our muscle forms adhesions or 'knots' that lead to muscle imbalances and injury," she continued. "Foam rolling regularly can help you become more flexible, help your muscles recover faster, and help you move more efficiently. It's great to include in your warm up to increase your range of motion and prevent the risk of injury."

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock
More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
30-Minute Total Body CrossFit Workout
Metabolism Boosting Workout
Lower-Body TRX Workout
Should You Foam Roll Every Day?
The Fitness Marshall "Heat" Video
Shirtless Men Doing Yoga in the Snow
Kelsey Wells Machine Leg Workout
Workout For Fat Loss
Best Bodyweight Core Exercises
Motivational Fitness Graphics
List of Stretches
7-Minute Ab Routine
From Our Partners
Latest Health & Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds