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Using a Foam Roller

Last updated 2011-06-12 - Send Feedback
Related: training
Great for quads and hamstring

Legal disclaimer: Since we are not doctors, never follow anything based on health-related topics on this or related sites without first consulting with your doctor or other trusted health professional.

Stretching helps, but a foam roller can help dissolve knotty problem areas in muscles.

After using a foam roller for several weeks (with some discomfort at first), I look forward after a hard ride, and before bedtime, to using it on my abused quadricepts and hamstring muscles.

I have also found that using the foam roller on my hamstrings prior to a ride helps the hamstrings stretch out better.

After about 5 weeks something unusual happened that had not happened after 5 months of prior stretching: my hamstrings began to “let go” during stretches, in other words, to stretch really nicely. I feel comfortable attributing this very substantial improvement to my continued use of a foam roller, helping break up adhesions and knotty tight areas in my leg muscles.

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Getting started

My advice is to seek out a personal trainer who can show you proper technique! Do not apply to joints or lower back, etc.

When there are small knotty areas in muscles, a foam roller can be uncomfortable; ease off slightly and persist. After a few weeks, most problem areas will be much happier.

When to use a foam roller

Probably a foam roller also helps to force out latent lactic acid after a hard workout.

Use a foam roller:

  • After a workout, especially a hard workout;
  • Prior to stretching, especially hamstrings;
  • Prior to bed; the result is relaxing.
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