Foam Rolling 101

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

Today we’re talking about the health benefits of foam rolling & how to do it.

This is a health habit that you want to be practicing, whether you’re a couch potato or a seasoned athlete. Once you incorporate foam rolling into your life, you’ll notice huge improvements in pain reduction and range of motion. Foam rolling also helps to prevent injuries.

I’m going to give you a personal example. I love to run, especially long distance and as a result, I developed osteoarthritis in my knees several years ago. I always ran with pain. A few times, I resorted to a series of injections to supplement the fluid in my knees to help lubricate and cushion the joint. The injections were painful, extremely expensive and were a temporary fix.

Then about 3 years ago, I started foam rolling on a daily basis. During the first year, I foam rolled at least twice a day. After about 3 weeks of consistent foam rolling, I noticed improvements.

I now run pain free – no more injections, no anti-inflammatories!!!!!!!!

You can foam roll before exercise, after exercise, before going to bed – whenever you can fit it into your life. Doing it is what makes the difference. Aim to foam roll once a day for a total of 5 minutes. I foam roll after a workout, as part of my cool down.

It does hurt, but it will get easier and in the end the discomfort is worth the gains. The more uncomfortable an area feels, the more it needs to be massaged. Try to hold on to a sore spots for 30 to 90 seconds until you feel the release before moving on.

It’s the next best thing to having a professional masseuse right in your home.


Use a stopwatch or timer and work on each muscle group from 30 to 90 seconds.


Lie face down with your foam roller under one thigh. Start at the hip and roll down toward the knee. Spend 60 seconds on each quad. Don’t roll over your knee joint.


Lie facedown on the ground and bend the leg you are working on. The other leg is off to the side. Roll from your pelvis down to your knee. Spend at least 60 seconds on each side and spend extra time on the sore spots.


If you run or bike, you’ll want to spend extra time rolling down and up the outside of your thigh. Lie on your side and place your foam roller under you. Top leg will be bent with the foot on the floor. Start near the hip and roll down toward your knee, stopping before the joint. Try to maintain as much body weight as possible on the roller.


Sit on the roller and place your arms behind you with palms on floor. Cross your foot over the glute that is being massaged. Roll over the glute area and when you find a trigger point spend extra time on the spot.


Sit on the ground with your roller under the back of one thigh and the other leg crossed over it. Roll up and down your leg for 30 to 90 seconds, then switch legs.


Lie faceup on the ground and place your roller under your mid-back. Support your head with your hands. Roll from your shoulders down to the middle of your back for 30 to 90 seconds, then move to the other side.

If you’re feeling stressed, try foam rolling right before getting into bed.

Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions.

Let me know in the comment section if you are a foam roller and how it has helped you!

Health & Wellness Coach

Buffalo, New York

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Maureen Kemeny


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