All That You Need to Know About Foam Rolling

How do you recover from a workout? 

Our Ann Arbor Personal Trainers will show you why foam rollers will change your life! 

COVAL Fitness - Home Personal Trainer Near Me in Ann Arbor, Michigan

We get questions on a fairly regular basis regarding foam rolling. 


“Why do we foam roll?”

“How long should I do it for?”

“Do I need to do it every day?”


Let’s dive in!


Why Do We Foam Roll?

There’s some research out there that shows benefits for:

  • increased flexibility

  • decrease in what is called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) & enhanced recovery. 

Have you ever worked out, and then felt okay the next day, but then two days after your workout just felt like your legs were going to give out with each step that you take?  Yeah?  That’s DOMS.  That can last up to 72 hours after a workout.

There’s a big myth out there that we’re “working out adhesions and knots”, but that simply isn't’ true. The amount of pressure generated from the roller to your tissues will not be enough to create change to your muscle tissue, but it can “reset” your nervous system which allows the muscle to relax.

In conclusion, there’s still a lot up in the air as far as the theory behind why foam rolling works. There's also some research that shows that it isn't very effective. The bottom line is it can improve flexibility, help out with DOMS, and if its something that feels good to you and you feel benefits you, then there is something very much to be said for that. Keep on rollin’ baby!


How Long Should I Foam Roll For?

We have a rule at the gym: 

Before a workout take about 15-30s on each spot. After all, we’re here to pick things up and put them down, throw things at high speeds, and work on building efficient moving humans. 

Avoid rolling too quickly over the area.  You might find a really "tight" spot.  Put pressure on that area and go very slowly over it. However, if you’re at home, and you’re filling a little tight or sore, then take as long as you want!


Do I Need to Do It Everyday?

If you haven’t participated in a consistent workout routine for at least 3x per week for the past couple of years, then I’d say definitely.  This will help with flexibility and overall tissue quality. If you have been working out consistently, then before or after your training session is the goal and anything in addition to that is all well and fine. Again, if you feel like it’s helping, then keep at it.


How Do I Do It?

The following videos will show you how to do some of the most common “tight” areas that we see with folks that come through our facility.

Give them a shot, and let us know how it works out (no pun intended) for you!

Plantar Fascia

Calf Muscle

Upper Thigh Series 

*Note* Disregard the IT Band. Since shooting this video we changed our stance on the effectiveness of it through new research

Glutes / Piriformis

Pec Minor 


  • 1)  Jay, K., Sundstrup, E., Søndergaard, S. D., Behm, D., Brandt, M., Særvoll, C. A., & Andersen, L. L. (2014). Specific and cross over effects of massage for muscle soreness: a randomized controlled trial. International journal of sports physical therapy, 9(1), 82-91

  • 2) Mohr, A.R., Long, B.C., & Goad, C.L. (2014) Effect of foam rolling and static stretching on passive hip-flexion range of motion. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 23(4), pp.296-299.




If you need help foal rolling or taking your fitness training to the next level, Contact Us to schedule your intro fitness assessment and download our Free 21-Day Kickstart Program! 

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