ll admit that I was a little late to the game in embracing soft-tissue manual therapy (AKA “foam rolling). Maybe it’s just me, but feeling a little sore in between workouts was a welcome reminder that I was working my muscles harder than normal.
But all of that changed last year after I began foam rolling regularly. Now I’m a firm believer that it is key to improving flexibility, relieving soreness, and reducing the risk of injury—either in the gym or on the golf course. Top fitness experts such as Ben Shear, Mark Verstegen, and Mike Boyle have been touting its benefits for years. My resistance to embrace it simply came from the notion that gym goers are looking for ways to reduce time exercising, not add to their already busy workouts.
OK, speech over. In speaking with the experts and testing their beliefs, I’ve come up with five foam-rolling hacks that will help you adopt it into your workout routine much easier and smarter.
1. Buy an adjustable-density roller. When you first start foam rolling, you won’t believe how sensitive certain muscles are to the applied pressure. The first time I hit my quadriceps with one, I nearly jumped to the rafters of my gym. So buying a roller that allows you to adjust the firmness of pressure is key. That way you can start with a soft massage and gradually adjust the firmness when your muscles aren’t so sensitive to the pressure. This all-in-one massage kit from Travelroller is pretty handy.