Foam Rolling has been around and extensively used for the past 10+ years and even more so now in recent years. However, even with it‘s growing population, many youth athletes and fitness enthusiasts are unaware or unsure how to use one. Foam Rolling can be used as a passive warm up to increase Blood Flow, Release Micro Adhesion's and improve Flexibility pre-activity.
How to Use the Foam Roller:
There are several "trigger points" the foam roller can be applied to. Each Muscle group will the same basic principles to rolling. Beginners may experience discomfort when using it for the first time.
Here is an example of Foam Rolling the IT Bands and TFL (Which helps control the IT Band). Each roll to the hip and knee can count as one, and we typically suggest 25 repetitions or up to 1:00 minutes per side.
(1) A 2019 meta analysis review suggested that the effects of FR before activity slightly increased sprint performance and increased flexibility. The same study also showed that FR post activity helped with muscle soreness , but decreased Jump Performance when used post activity.
Post-rolling slightly attenuated exercise-induced decreases in sprint (+3.1%,g= 0.34) and strength performance (+3.9 %,g= 0.21). It also reduced muscle pain perception (+6.0%,g= 0.47), whereas its effect on jump performance
Youth Athletes can benefit from FR to improve Lower Extremity Dysfunctions due to the nature of moving less and repeated bouts of exercise.
If you have not experienced Foam Rolling or need a guide, we offer Free PDF‘s including Foam Rolling. You can grab those here.
Please note, Foam Rolling is not the end all be all to improving your ROM and the Quality of Muscle Tissue. It is in conjunction with mobility and proper exercise techniques that will allow you to become stronger and more agile.
We use FR as a resource to help incorporate within our warm up, or part of a active recovery day.