Foam Rollers

Foam rollers have a place in the training environment. That being said in most situations they have a very small place. Just like any other training tool they can be overused. In my understanding they are a form of self myofascial release. I have found the roller especially effective for use on the IT Band and the serratus. As far as I am concerned the foam roller is best used in cooldown, not warm-up. I want to see active dynamic activities that activate in the warm-up, not passive static activities. In short if you are spending more two to three minutes at a time using rollers I think you should rethink what you are doing and what your training objectives are.If you work in situations like I do where time is an issue, you must use the training time wisely. I think foam roller work can be a good "homework" for an athlete who has particular issues that need to be addressed.


At 3/2/07, 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree here. As a coach who has time limited training, foam rolling especially in a group setting takes up too much time.

There are other exercises that I believe are as beneficial if not more.

However, just about every DVD now takes up time showing foam roller routines. Heck, just look it up for free on the web!

At 3/3/07, 1:45 PM, Anonymous tlanger said...


I'm not an athletic trainer,and do not have your experience, but think there might be a use for the rollers in a warmup IF there's a length-tension imbalance you want to correct prior to exercise....

Todd Langer

At 3/3/07, 6:20 PM, Anonymous Michael Boyle said...

I think five minutes of foam rolling pre workout is the best five minutes you can spend. With older clients even longer.

At 3/3/07, 7:26 PM, Anonymous Mike Bahn said...

I have found success using them prior to warm-up, specifically with muscle groups that need additional attention to help return to resting length. We incorporate them frequently before activities, but I would not consider it a warm-up activity by definition.

Like anything else, it is simply a tool that can incorporated when and where appropriate. Doing it just to do it is a waste of valuable time.

At 3/4/07, 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coach Boyle...

I have old clients and pro athletes....I have made more progress placing the foam rolling later and placed more emphasis on getting warm. After that change my trigger points and problems with tissue was resolved.

If you place 2/3 of your pre workout time on the ground not moving your warm-ups are less than optimal in my opinion. Since you can't prove that rolling later doesn't work for the next workout I can truly argue that not moving is not warming up.


At 3/4/07, 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the statement "older clients" is used what are we talking? Since 60 in the new 30 and 70 is the new 40 : ) Im in my 30's so I have to start all over, again!
As we will see in the new late night infomercials the foam roll will cure all your exercise issues.


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