Sore, stiff, tight? We feel you. Take some time for self-massage. Used pre-workout, pre-stretching, or simply to start the day, foam rolling has serious benefits, including easing muscle soreness, correcting muscle imbalance, increasing range of motion, and preventing injury.
Some gyms have foam rollers, but it might be worth investing in your own. (They’re still way cheaper than a professional massage!) Rollers vary in size, firmness, and shape. Long rollers provide more area for stability and support, while shorter options are more versatile and convenient for travel. A soft foam provides a gentler massage than a high-density version. Some options include a grid-like design or a ridged surface, which helps target tough-to-relieve knots and trigger points.
When you get rolling, spend about 60 seconds on each tight area. Use as much or as little pressure as feels comfortable for you. If you find a knot or sensitive spot, linger on it for a little while, rolling back and forth until the tenderness eases. Ten to 15 minutes per day is all it takes the reap the benefits. Trust us, your body will thank you.
Ready to roll? Here’s how:
Originally posted July 2012. Updated May 2016.