1. Only foam rolling AFTER exercise.
Foam rolling is a great way to warm up your body BEFORE exercise. Foam rolling followed by a quick dynamic warm-up is a great way to prepare your body for movement. To learn how to foam roll and perform a dynamic warm-up click the following link: The 6 Characteristics of a Good Dynamic Warm-up by Eric Cressey.
2. Rolling over the greater trochanter.
The greater trochanter is a bony prominence of the femur. If you google it, you can see pictures of it. If you run your hand down the side of your thigh, you will feel a bony bump at the top. When you are rolling the side of your leg avoid rolling over that bump. It can irritate the bursa that is over top of it.
3. Hyperextending low back.
The foam roller is a great way to mobilize your mid back (thoracic spine) into extension. If you go to the 1:35 mark in the following video (Foam rolling Series) you can see how to perform this. You will notice that he doesn’t go near the low back (lumbar spine) when performing this movement. The low back and mid back work differently and hyperextending the low back can irritate it.
4. Using the foam roller on every muscle.
The foam roller works great for most muscles but it doesn’t work that great in the calf area. Try using a massage stick (The stick) instead. Make sure the calf is relaxed in order to get the deep calf muscles as well. Sit down lifting your knee straight toward the ceiling let your foot relax so it points toward the floor and relax as much as possible as you roll/massage your leg.
5. Using the foam roller to treat pain.
Foam rolling shouldn’t be used to treat pain. Foam rolling may reduce or eliminate your pain temporarily but ultimately it only delays you from getting the proper treatment. Proper treatment involves removing adhesion, which the foam roller cannot do. To learn more about this topic click the following link: Can foam rolling remove adhesion?
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