Proport Physicial Therapy and Performance’s Director of Sport Performance, Matt Camargo, MS, CSCS (Certified
Strength and Conditioning Specialist) recently shared about the benefits
of foam rolling.
Q. Is foam rolling more effective than stretching?
A. Foam rolling focuses on breaking up tightness of the muscles and best
used prior to a training session. Static stretching is best used post
training to aid in recovery. I wouldn’t say one is more effective
than the other, just need to know when to incorporate and why.
Q. How do you foam roll?
A. You want to gently place any part of your body on the foam roll. The
more of your body weight you place onto it the more “intense”
that self massage can be. You want to roll back and forth to find those
trigger points. Aim for anywhere from 30-60 seconds each body part.
Q. Where can you foam roll?
A. You can foam roll any muscle on your body. The foam roll is a form of self
myofascial release. So find a muscle group that is tight and get your
body prepped for the upcoming training session.
Q. How do you know if a foam roller is the right resource for you?
A. Foam rollers can for a short period of time get rid of muscle tightness
and knots that are in the muscles. If the pain is not too unbearable and
there is some sort of relief after then keep doing it. If the pain worsens
or stays the same, I recommend locate a physical therapist who can provide
the optimal guidance.
Q. When is the best time to foam roll in regards to your workout?
A. The best time is right before a training session or on rest days, as well
as right in the morning and or at night before bed. It is the consistency
of a variety of recovery methods through a period of time that shows positive
results for the human body. Understanding of that to where good habits
are made is the difference between being in pain or not.
Q. Do you recommend any specific foam rollers?
A. I recommend different types of foam rollers based off need. The more tough
ones are going to be more intense than the softer ones. It is all about
building tolerance of the tissues for long term results.
Q. What are the different types of foam rollers and what do they do?
A. There are low density foam rollers, firm foam rollers, short foam rollers,
bumpy foam rollers, medium density foam rollers. To use each kind, there
needs to be some caution because depending on that person’s tolerance
to pain will dictate the level of being uncomfortable. How to use each
kind is the same. The more body weight and pressure an individual applies
will make it more intense.
Q. Are there any foam rolling myths worth debunking?
A. Foam rolling alone will not get rid of pain or imbalances within the body.
It is important for individuals to locate a great physical therapist and
strength coach to provide individualized guidelines that use a variety
of planned out sessions for best results.
Q. How do you know what foam roller is right for you?
A. You know it’s right for you if pain dissipates over time and you
are not getting worse. The pain should be complimented with some sort
of relief. If there is not relief then there is a deeper issue that a
health care professional would need to provide further guidance.