Foam rolling may be one of the best add-ons to your exercise routine to speed recovery and get the most out of every workout. A longtime physical therapist’s tool for rehabilitation, now there’s one in every gym, and we’re using them for so much more than treating injuries.

Imagine a massage before and after every workout to alleviate muscle aches or pain! Grab the foam roller in the gym, and you can deliver a message to your muscles to loosen up and relax.

20-minutes = Big Impact
Foam rolling works through a process called myofascial release, says the National Academy of Sports Medicine. A recent study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, found that foam rolling for just 20-minutes after weight training helped people reduce muscle soreness and made a significant difference in muscle recovery.

Not Just for Therapy
Foam rolling has been found to be so effective in physical therapy, that it’s become a standard practice for high-performing athletes and frequently recommended by personal trainers for their clients.

There’s so much curiosity across the country, entire classes are designed to teach the technique in interesting and fun ways, such as the Melt Method, or at places like the University of California. You might just go to one, learn the basics, and fit foam rolling into your own workout. At home, you might keep one around for those much needed massage moments; check out these rollers from TriggerPoint or LifeFitness, plus classes and products from Yamuna.

3 Ways to Rock and Roll

  • Reduce back pain – Lie on the floor face up, knees bent. Place a foam roller under your back. Move your body forward and backward over the foam roller.
  • Loosen hamstrings and calves – Sit on the floor. Extend right leg. Bend left leg at knee. Place right leg over foam roller. Move your body forward and backward over foam roller. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Ease muscle pain in thighs – Place the foam roller on the floor. Lie face down with thighs on top of the roller. Plant your hands, and move your body forward and backward over foam roller.
  • Break up stiffness in hips – Lie on your side and place the foam roller under your outer thighs, and roll up and down from your hip to your knee to get to the pesky IT band (great for runners).

What are you waiting for? Get ready to roll, and find relief.