Foam Rolling 101

February 18, 2022

Foam rolling is a wonderful, easy-to-do technique that offers benefits both pre- and post-workout. No, we’re not talking about the kind where you dip your toes in the ocean — but this form of self-massage happens to be pretty great, too!

It’s super beneficial for easing sore muscles and speeding up recovery, as well as:

  • Increasing mobility and range of motion
  • Restoring healthy tissue
  • Helping to free up knots and adhesions
  • Increasing circulation and blood flow to muscle, tissue and joints
  • Relaxing the nervous system

If you’ve ever wondered how foam rolling works, you’ll want to attend CA’s upcoming workshop on Saturday, March 12 (12-12:45pm). Join fitness instructor Bonnie Pace at Columbia Athletic Club to learn how to add this technique to your workout routine — your muscles will thank you! 

Let’s roll 

Foam rolling involves using a lightweight, compressed piece of foam. They usually come in the shape of a cylinder, though there’s various designs out there. You can find foam rollers in different sizes and levels of firmness at CA’s three fitness clubs.

This technique is thought to release the fascia, the thin tissue that connects our muscles together. When the fascia around our muscles is healthy and relaxed, it moves without restriction, which means efficient and unrestricted movement. However, most of us have tightness and imbalances in certain muscles. Over time, this can cause the fascia to lose its pliability, and adhesions and knots can form.

Foam rolling is a simple and effective way to deliver fresh, oxygenated blood to the fascia so that you can move with greater ease.

Here are some essential tips, all of which will be covered in our upcoming workshop:

  • If you’re foam rolling to aid in injury recovery (rather than injury prevention), consult your doctor and/or physical therapist first.
  • Never roll directly on a joint. This one is super important, so let us repeat: Never roll directly on a joint! Foam rolling is for your muscles.
  • Make sure your motions are slow, controlled and consistent.
  • Don’t overwork one area.
  • Foam rolling can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t cause pain. If it does, it’s best to stop immediately.
  • Stretch and move around afterwards.

To register for CA’s Foam Rolling for Muscular Health workshop, visit the front desk at CA’s fitness clubs or call Columbia Athletic Club (410-730-6744). Come prepared to lay on the floor and roll out your muscles! $20/member, $25/non-member. Contact Group.Fitness@columbiaassociation.org for more information.

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