Fitness Goals

Foam rolling: Warm-up or cool-down?

Leanna Olbinsky

Foam rolling can be done as a warm-up, cool-down or both! When performed properly, a foam rolling workout can have similarities to a sports massage.

When performed before a workout, or as a warm-up, the goal is to increase the blood flow to the muscles and get the most optimal range of motion so that you can perform exercises with proper form. This type of foam rolling is more general and focused on the entire region that you’re going to be working out that day.

Foam rolling after your workout, or as a cool-down, is more focused on finding the sore areas and rolling over them for 20-30 seconds to release the fascial tension surrounding the muscle that can cause adhesions or soreness the next couple days after a workout.

Let’s recap.

Foam Rolling as a Warm-up

  • Improve Performance
  • Increase blood flow to the muscles
  • Get optimal range of motion to perform exercises with proper form

Foam Rolling as a Cool-down

  • Reduce Painful Symptoms
  • Release fascial tension (reduce soreness)

Try Sworkit’s Foam Rolling Exercises

Foam Roller Inner Hamstring Exercise
Instructions for Foam Roller Inner Hamstring Exercise
Sit on your right side with the left leg on the roller just above your knee. Place your hands on the ground and move your hips so the roller moves up and down the inner backside of your leg (learn more with Sworkit).
Foam Roller Upper Back
Instructions for Foam Roller Upper Back
Lay on your back with knees bent and roller under your upper back. Place your hands behind your neck and bring your chin to your chest. Bend your knees to move the roller up and down your upper back (learn more with Sworkit).
Foam Roller Calf Muscles
Instructions for Foam Roller Calf Muscles
Start seated with the roller under your legs below your knees. Place your hands behind you and move your hips back and forth to move the roller over your calves (learn more on Sworkit).

Need a foam roller? Try this Amazon Foam Roller.

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