Our Guide On How To Use a Foam Roller

Tuesday, 8 December 2020  |  Admin

Sports scientists are still studying the broader effects of foam rolling, but recent studies have concluded that foam rolling really does work as an effective strategy for short-term improvements in sprint performance, flexibility and recovery rate. Further still, scientists have made other conclusions that validate the foam roller's capacity to improve short-term strength and delay the onset of fatigue.

Foam rolling is crucial for next day recovery and pain relief

Foam rolling is crucial for next day recovery and pain relief

It's pretty clear that foam rolling is a proven method for muscular recovery and boosting athletic performance. So how do you get started using a foam roller? Well, foam rollers are pretty simple to use, so we're going to look at some ways you can utilise your roller to target specific muscles, as well as some of our best foam rollers here at ThinkSport.co.uk.

If you're looking for something in particular, here's what we're going to cover:


Our Best All-Round Foam Roller

If you're just looking to get started with the most optimal way of foam rolling, we recommend a small, compact foam roller like the Escape Fitness Black Foam Ridge Massage Roller. It's dense, highly portable and super easy to clean and take care of.

Escape Fitness Black Foam Ridge Massage Roller

Escape Fitness Black Foam Ridge Massage RollerWhy We Love It...

  • Short compact 14" design suitable for limbs
  • Fits in your rucksack or gym bag easily
  • Highly effective ridged and "studded" zones
  • Easy wipe surface for hygienic purposes

Perfect For...

  • Arms and calves
  • Smaller workout spaces 

Not Great For...

Buy Now

How To Use a Foam Roller:

  1. Slowly lower this sore area so it's centered above the roller.
  2. Position your body onto the foam roller until you reach a point of discomfort and hold it there.
  3. Just hold this position for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. While the pressure alone is enough to offer some benefits, we recommend you also roll slowly back and forth against your roller.
  5. Continue to move slowly along the muscle with the roller, stopping and holding in the areas that need more focus. 

Our Best Foam Roller For Your Back

For a broad muscle area like your back, we would recommend a longer foam roller, between 22 and 34 inches long. Our TriggerPoint GRID 2.0 Foam Roller should do the job with a length of 26 inches, hand-wrapped EVA foam and "Distrodensity Zones" designed to simulate a therapist's hands.

TriggerPoint GRID 2.0 Long Foam Roller

TriggerPoint GRID 2.0 Long Orange Massage Foam RollerWhy We Love It...

  • Extra long 26" design for larger muscle groups
  • Extremely durable, retains shape
  • "Distrodensity Zones" simulate masseuse's hands
  • Impressive user weight limit of 500lb

Perfect For...

  • Backs, legs and torsos
  • Weightlifters, rowers and more

Not Great For...

Buy Now

How To Foam Roll Your Upper Back:

  1. Lie down on the foam roller with it positioned in the middle of your back below your shoulder blades.
  2. Place your hands behind your neck to support your head.
  3. Bring your elbows into your chest to protract your shoulder blades.
  4. Bending your knees, gently lift off the ground and roll forward and back from the middle of your back to a few inches below your neck.

Take extra care to avoid both your neck and lower back in case you pull them.
Take extra care to avoid both your neck and lower back in case you pull them. 


Our Best Foam Roller For Your Feet

Our feet are some of our smallest areas of muscle tissue on our body, but plantar fasciitis, foot arch pain and torn tissue are all conditions which can effectively put you out of training for a while. To rehabilitate and help your foot heal, we recommend a smaller foam roller like the Pro11 Hot and Cold Foot Roller.

Pro11 Hot and Cold Foot Roller

Pro11 Hot and Cold Foot RollerWhy We Love It...

  • Choose "hot" or "cold" therapy for your feet
  • Excellent for soothing tired, aching feet
  • Hourglass design targets twinging arches
  • Easy to take with you anywhere

Perfect For...

  • Plantar fasciitis, foot arch pain and more...
  • Runners, sprinters, joggers and athletes

Not Great For...

Buy Now

How To Foam Roll Your Feet:

  1. While standing or sitting down, place your foot on the foam roller.
  2. Centre it on the source of discomfort.
  3. Hold your position for more than 30 seconds.
  4. Gently roll the foam roller back and forth against your arches.

Take extra care not to slip or slide against your foam roller
Take extra care not to slip or slide against your foam roller 


Our Best Foam Roller For Your Hamstrings

Your hamstrings and calves are delicate and need some gentle rolling to stretch out, and relieve muscular tension. With a suitable 18 inch length, the Sissel Massage Roller has a smooth rubber surface perfect for targeting sore hamstrings.

Sissel Massage Roller

Sissel Massage RollerWhy We Love It...

  • Smooth blue synthetic rubber surface perfect for tense tissue
  • 18" length should fit most calves and hamstrings perfectly
  • Diameter of 6" keeps your leg muscles suitably elevated
  • Can also remain static as a resting support

Perfect For...

  • Tight hamstrings, sore calves etc.
  • Powerlifters, runners and sprinters

Not Great For...

Buy Now

How To Foam Roll Your Hamstrings:

  1. Sit with the roller positioned under your thighs and your arms extended behind you for support.
  2. Roll backwards and forwards from above the knee to below your backside.
  3. Roll both hamstrings at once or move one leg off to the side to work one hamstring at a time.

Keep those hands extended to maintain your body's support
Keep those hands extended to maintain your body's support


Our Conclusion

Learning how to foam roll is easy, but choosing the best one can be tricky. We hope you've found our blog "Our Guide On How To Use a Foam Roller" useful and informative. If you're looking for more foam rollers, why not check out our Foam Rollers and Massagers and Rollers categories?

Are you foam rolling? Share your favourite roller below or on our Facebook or Twitter.

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