If you’re a runner, you’ve probably heard of foam rolling.
But what is it, and how can it help improve your running and give you the edge you need to hit new PRs and win in future races?
Foam rolling is a self-massage technique that can help improve flexibility and reduce injury risk.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to foam rolling for runners!
What is foam rolling and how does it work?
Foam rolling is increasingly becoming part of everyday fitness for many people who want to stay healthy and active.
But what exactly is foam rolling, and how does it work?
Well, foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release – massage therapy that can be done with a rolled piece of foam to help relax muscle tissue, which can help with relieving tensions and tightness in muscles.
Essentially you place the foam roller on the floor or other flat surfaces and use your body weight while gently rolling on it, allowing your body to stretch muscles and tissues at their targeted areas, similar to a deep tissue massage.
Doing this can help alleviate pain as well as increase flexibility and mobility, so if you haven’t yet tried it then consider adding it to your fitness routine!
The benefits of foam rolling for runners
For runners, having a good recovery routine is just as important as the number of miles clocked weekly.
Foam rolling is an effective form of self-care that can help runners reduce injury risk, improve performance, and enhance their overall well-being.
Foam rolling works by breaking down the tight spots between muscles and tendons, which helps to increase the circulation of blood flow in those areas.
This increased circulation will help alleviate any stiffness or tightness in the muscles, reducing aches and pains caused by running.
In addition to reducing aches and pains caused by running, foam rolling can also increase flexibility and range of motion, meaning you can run with more ease and less risk of injury.
Which will lead to improved performance, whether you’re completing a 5K or a marathon.
A good example of the benefits for runners is:
If you regularly roll out your hamstrings with a foam roller it can release tension in this area so that your stride becomes smoother and more efficient during runs.
Ultimately decreasing the risk of common injuries like shin splints since no extra energy is being wasted on inefficient movements – leading to improved performance over time!
Think of it like a massage – it’s working on the same principle but you don’t need to leave your house or break the bank!
So why not give foam rolling a try?
How to foam roll properly
Foam rolling can be intimidating when you’re first starting out, but it’s such a useful tool for promoting physical health.
Doing it properly isn’t difficult, but there are some guidelines to follow that will help you get the most out of your foam rolling sessions.
Start by finding an area that needs attention – this could be a sore spot or an area that’s been feeling particularly tight or uncomfortable.
Gently press the foam roller into these areas and roll around on the muscles until you find any knots or areas of tension.
Make sure to be patient, as it might take a few minutes before you feel a difference in the targeted area.
When you’ve finished each area, move onto another part of your body where relief is needed – treating yourself to regular foam rolling sessions can increase flexibility and reduce muscular pain in no time!
The best times to foam roll
Foam rolling can be an effective way to combat tension and pain.
But, did you know that there are certain times of day when it is most beneficial?
Research has shown that foam rolling can be most beneficial before your workout as it prepares the body for any movements you will be doing.
It’s also a great way to start off the morning, slowly stretching and increasing bloodflow to get your day started on the right foot.
Additionally, foam rolling can be used as a cool down after a workout, help alleviate sore muscles and restore mobility.
To make the most out of your foam rolling sessions, consider adding it into your daily or weekly schedule.
Common mistakes people make when foam rolling
Foam rolling can oftentimes feel daunting and overwhelming, and may lead to frustration if common mistakes are made.
It’s important to remember that foam rolling should be a relatively comfortable experience; you don’t want to use too much pressure or roll too quickly in order to avoid unwanted pain.
Make sure you stay mobile when rolling – keep your hips lifted off the ground throughout the entire motion rather than staying stationary.
Additionally, focus on breathing deeply so you don’t struggle with tightness from holding uncomfortable positions.
Finally, don’t forget that foam rolling shouldn’t take up more than 5-10 minutes of your time total!
Tips for getting the most out of your foam rolling session
If you’re a runner, foam rolling can help improve circulation, reduce soreness, and enhance your performance.
To get the most out of your session, start by applying moderate pressure to the target area for at least 30 seconds.
Move slowly across the muscle in a back-and-forth motion, covering all parts of the target area. Don’t forget to use slow, deep breaths while rolling to relax and help ease tension.
Once you’ve finished that section, move on to another area until you have rolled every relevant muscle. With consistency and proper technique while foam rolling runners can benefit from increased mobility and flexibility as well as improved overall form.
Now that you know all about foam rolling and how it can benefit runners, are you ready to add this important stretching tool to your routine?
Check out our suggested foam rollers here.
And be sure to follow the proper technique and timing we outlined above to get the most out of your foam rolling session.
Do you have any other questions about foam rolling or running in general?
Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them!