5 Common Foam Rolling Mistakes to Avoid

Do you remember when you first started working out? Chances are you spent the majority of your first few weeks at the gym wrecking havoc on your muscles, with little to no results. It’s inevitable that you’ll make mistakes when you’re just getting started.

No need to be worried, because we’ve all been there! Luckily, most of the damage can be repaired if you know which mistakes to avoid moving forward. In this article, we’ll be addressing the most common issues that newbies encounter while foam rolling. Keep reading to discover the top 5 foam rolling mistakes you should avoid.

woman thinking about foam rolling mistakes
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What is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is the process of using a variety of different rollers to massage muscles for better blood flow and to reduce inflammation. Although it’s popularly known as foam rolling, it’s also known as myofascial release or massage rolling. You can do this yourself, or have a professional therapist do it for you at their office.

There are a few different types of rollers you can use for this process:

  • Hard Rollers: For firm, deep tissue massage. These can be used on their own, or in combination with soft rollers for a more focused massage.
  • Soft Rollers: For less firm, superficial massage. These can be used on their own, or in combination with hard rollers for a more focused massage.

Have a better idea of what foam rolling is? Well, below are 5 foam rolling mistakes that must be avoided. Stay tuned!

woman with backpain
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Rolling the Wrong Muscles

Before getting into the best techniques to use while rolling, it’s important to note which muscles you shouldn’t be rolling. The human body is made up of many different systems, and the muscles within each system are related. If you’re not careful, you could end up rolling the wrong muscles and causing more harm than good.

The main muscles you should avoid while foam rolling are:

  • Abdominals: These include the muscles of the stomach, lower back, and pelvic floor.
  • Neck: This includes the muscles of the throat, jaw, and face.
  • Arms: The muscles of the arms include the biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis.
  • Legs: The muscles of the legs include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the gluteus.
wrong grade foam roller is a foam rolling mistake
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Not Using the Right Grade of Foam Roller

Before you start rolling, you should make sure you’re using the right type of roller for the job. Remember, the harder the roller, the more focused the massage will be. There are 3 grades of foam rollers: soft, medium, and firm. You should only use a firm foam roller for your warm-up and deep tissue massage.

So, to make the warm up worthwhile,  choose the right grade foam roller. If you’re not sure where to find one, check out the Collapsible Foam Roller. It’s great in decreasing muscle stiffness and can easily break up adhesions. Perfect for a warm up or simple massage.

man with neck pain
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Rolling Too Fast

While using a foam roller, sometimes it might feel good to roll back and forth quickly. But, understand that adhesions are not eliminated by rolling too fast. It’s important to give your brain enough time to tell the muscles to relax. Otherwise, it won’t give any positive effect to the body.

A simple tip is to feel where the tender spots are with the roller, then use short and slow rolls over that spot. That way, you won’t beat up your muscles when there are only a few sensitive areas.

stop overdoing it, that's a foam rolling mistake
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Overdoing it on the Foam Roller

When it comes to overdoing it, we can all relate to feeling like we’re hurting ourselves a little bit. The key here is to be mindful of how much pressure you’re using. Generally, if you’re feeling any pain or discomfort, you’re using too much pressure. You should never feel any pain while foam rolling, only smooth, focused pressure.

Keep in mind to pay attention to your body. Rolling too fast, too hard, or even spending too much time can actually cause tissue damage or bruising. So, take your time. Don’t use too much pressure and try to spend 20 seconds on each tender spot then move on.

women doing yoga pose showing good posture
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Bad Posture is a Foam Rolling Mistake

Posture has a lot to do with foam rolling. Rolling often means holding your body in a certain position, and that requires a lot of strength. If you don’t pay attention to your posture, there’s a chance you may exacerbate pre-existing postural deviations and cause more harm than good.

To keep it simple, try setting up a smartphone and use it to videotape yourself while using the foam roller. Doing this allows you to see whether or not you’ve been using the foam roller correctly.

bye sign concluding the article about foam rolling mistakes
Source: Pexels

Wrapping It Up: Foam Rolling Mistakes To Avoid

We can all relate to feeling a bit nervous when we first step into a new environment, like the gym, a fitness class, or even using a foam roller for the first time. Luckily, you’re not alone! A lot of newbies feel nervous or unsure about what to do next.

The good news is that most of the damage from your first few weeks at the gym or using foam rollers can be repaired with a little education and practice. Keep these 5 mistakes in mind, and you should be able to avoid them moving forward. Now, let’s get back to crushing it and staying healthy!

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