It Hurts So Good: Reasons Why I Love To (Foam) Roll and You Should Too!

December 16, 2013 1:29 am

Watching the hilarious faces you or those around you make when foam rolling, is just as exciting to me as the amazing benefits this simple and insanely cheap way to improve your overall muscle development provides. This  Self Myofascial Release technique -Myo (muscle) Fascial (tissue) Release (alleviation of muscular tension)-like an awesome self massage; aids towards progressing YOU to be a more efficient and physically productive person with more flexibility and less injury.

foam roll

What You Need 

1)  Foam roller and/or lacrosse ball

2) Patience

3) Minor tolerance of pain

4) Persistence

Photo Credit: Transform Fitness & Training

Photo Credit: Transform Fitness & Training

What to Do

Instead of rolling back and forth in quick and short movements, as many of us tend to do (and as a result teach wrongly to our clients)- ease up on your rolling and slow down. As you roll, whether its a foam roller or lacrosse ball, try to find that spot that hurts a little more than the rest, sit in place, embrace the pain for for about 1 minute, then slowly switch to a different spot. This tender spot of  luscious  release (does that sound less painful?… I tried) has been described to me as any of the following:

a  “charlie horse, cramp, tender as hell, this f#cking kills, feels like a black and blue, is this going to bruise me, Oh My God this hurts so good” …type of feeling. 

Concentrating and isolating your attention to that spot will relax the muscle, and in my opinion should be your first method to warming up. However! With that being said, foam rolling after exercise helps to speed recovery process, and improves blood flow to the tissue.

Improved blood flow, increases oxygen to the tissue, allowing important nutrients to better reach our muscles. 

There are two major receptors in your muscles

1. The muscle spindle which contracts the muscle

2. Golgi tendon organ (GTO) which relaxes the muscle

In order to work properly together these two muscles must work “synergistically” (fantastic buzz word) in balance.

Result: Less Inflammation, Improved muscle length/tension relationship = prevention against injury

Golgi Tendon Organ and Muscle Spindles

Golgi Tendon Organ and Muscle Spindles


Benefits: Keep Rolling, Rolling, Rolling (singing voice) 

-Improves and eventually corrects muscle imbalances

-Less susceptible to injury

-Lubricates and Hydrates muscle tissue as well as joints

-Relieves recovery time, muscle soreness, and tension

-Increases flexibility and mobility

-More efficient muscular development, leads to more muscle, leading to increased fat burn

-Improves muscle length/tension relationship

-Excuse to aggressively curse while making funny faces


Drink Up: Hydrate and Release 

The way we are urged to “drink plenty of water” after a massage (I like couples massages) the same goes for Myo Fascial Release. Drinking water helps to flush our body of the toxins that are being released from the deep tissue stimulation and hydrates our cells for better performance and recovery. I start every morning and end every night with a glass of water, and drink about a gallon throughout the course of the entire day.


 *I will be posting a foam roll and lacrosse release routine that everyone can follow later this week*

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