When to Foam Roll: What is the Best Time? | Foam Rolling After Workout

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Do you want to know when the best time to use a foam roller is? Then keep on reading for all the details you need to know about whether or not you should do it before or after a workout.

When to Foam Roll: Summary

You can foam roll both before and after a workout. If you do foam rolling before exercise, you can increase range of motion and blood flow to the muscles. This may help prevent injury. After a workout, you can enhance your recovery time with a foam roller. Or, consider doing it before bed as a relaxation technique.

Best time to foam roll

Your Guide about When to Foam Roll: Before a Workout?

A common question that beginners to foam rolling have is, “When to foam roll? What is the best time for foam rolling?”

You may have heard that foam rolling before a workout is the best time because it gets your body ready to go. The theory is that this happens because it activates the muscles and increases blood flow to the tissues.

It’s a pretty normal thing to warm-up before engaging in serious exercise, and one way to do this is through foam rolling. While foam rolling before beginning a workout isn’t a terrible idea, we think that there is in fact a better time for foam rolling.

For an example of this, “Foam rolling before workout” school of thought, check out this article.

When to Foam Roll: After a Workout is Better

However, according to this article, before a workout may not actually be the best time for foam rolling. We tend to agree with this line of thinking.

The reason is that using a foam roller turns on your parasympathetic nervous system. This system helps you relax and recover, which is most certainly not what you want right before a workout. You in fact want the opposite-to get pumped up and ready to go!

The best time for using something like the Rumble Roller or TriggerPoint Grid is immediately after a workout, or even hours later that same day. You’ll help your muscles have a speedier recovery, decrease pain, and also increase relaxation.

What about Foam Rolling Before a Workout?

A very common question that many people have is about whether or not they should use a roller before working out. In general, it’s not recommended.

Foam rolling is similar to going to a massage therapist. Your muscles relax. Your aches and pains disappear. You get sleepy and feel ready to take a nap.

Would you go do a serious workout after getting a massage? Probably not! You’d be way more likely to get a massage after a tough workout, instead of before. Foam rolling is similar in that you can get the best benefit from it by doing it after a workout. You’ll be able to increase blood flow to tired, sore muscles, restore your range of motion and be able to relax.

What Kind of Warm-Up do you Recommend Instead of Foam Rolling?

If you’re going to be doing some serious exercise, or playing an active sports of some kind, you’ll want to do a warm-up. This can involve a light version of the sports you’ll be playing. For example, some very light, easy catches and throws if you’re a baseball player. Or, some gentle kicks back and forth of the soccer ball to get those legs warmed up if this is your sport.

You can also consider some light jogging or other kind of cardio to get the heart rate up and blood flowing through the muscles of your body. Once you’re warm, consider some light stretching, but you could also consider skipping over this step too.

Then, move onto the your workouts, or sports.

Easy, 5-Minute Warm-Up

If you’re interested in learning a quick warm-up you can do before a gym workout, or sport, then check out this short video that explains everything:

What about Foam Rolling Before Bed?

A common practice that some people have is to foam roll before they go to sleep. Is this effective if the goal is to have less muscle soreness?

In general, there are a number of reasons why you might want to start a daily practice of foam rolling right before going to bed. One of the main reasons is that it helps to relax the body, which may lead to better sleep. Not only will you feel more well rested, but your body will also have a better chance to repair itself during the night if you’re having a deep, good sleep.

The second benefit of foam rolling before bed is that it is AFTER any workout that you’ve done that day, and not before. And this seems to be the key finding about when you should foam roll.

Best Time to Foam Roll: Let’s Sum This Up

So, when to foam roll? The best time is to do it right after a workout. This is when you want your body to unwind, recover and get into a state of relaxation.

We do realize that a lot of people workout early in the morning before work and need to jump in the shower and get started on their day. If this is the case for you, foam roll for 10-15 minutes before bed. It’ll help get you relaxed and ready for sleep. Or, in reality, just do it whenever you have a few free minutes in the day. Just keep the following in mind.

Remember this most important piece of advice about when to foam roll: NOT before a workout! This will give you the opposite effect of what you want. You’ll be too relaxed.

Do it Consistently for the Best Results

Besides that, it doesn’t entirely matter because we hope you’re doing it on a daily basis. It doesn’t really matter whether you work out that kink or knot immediately after a workout, a bit later in the day, or even the next.

The important thing is that you’re foam rolling on a consistent basis, post-workout. Not doing it? Today is the day to start, after training, particularly on the areas of your body that are usually the most sore.

Pair this up with proper nutrition, a regular exercise routine, adequate rest and hydration and you’ll be well on your towards a better future with more relaxed muscles and a great range of motion.

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Foam Rolling: Here’s How to Do It

Maybe you’re looking to get started with foam rolling, but aren’t sure what to do. If this is the case, check out this infographic below with some of the most basic foam rolling exercises: How to Foam RollOr if you’re specifically looking for foam rolling for back pain, check out our article: Foam Roller for Back Pain Exercises.

Learn More About Foam Rolling

How Often To Foam Roll?

A very common question that people have is, “How often should I foam roll?” In reality, there’s no one single across the board answer that we can give to everyone.

Some people just use foam rollers when they have a specific ache or pain that they’re trying to relieve. Other people swear by them and have a consistent routine that they do every single day. We definitely need more research into this important question.

However, from our experience, we recommend at least 3-4x a week for around a 10 minute session in order to see the best results. Keep this up consistently for at least a month or two and we’re confident that you’ll notice some great results in terms of your health.

As far as the maximum amount that we recommend, think about it this way. It’s similar to a massage that you’d get from a certified massage therapist. Obviously, there’s no harm that comes from getting one every single day if you have the time to do this and the money to afford it. In fact, your body would probably feel great!

Foam rolling is similar in that there’s no harm that can come, as long as you’re doing it properly. Done every single day for 1-2 sessions is no problem at all.

Is it Okay to Foam Roll Every Day?

Ideally, you’d foam roll every day. And it’s more than okay, it’s ideal in fact! Just like stretching, foam rolling is an ideal way to prevent injury, increase blood flow to muscles as well as help relax them. You can also increase flexibility and do it before, or after a workout. With foam rolling, the more often the better!

Can I Foam Roll Every Day?

Need to Buy a Foam Roller?

If you’re looking to buy a roller and feel a bit confused, don’t worry. Although there are a million and one choices over on a place like Amazon, it really isn’t so confusing. Check out What Size Foam Roller will Work for Me? You’ll get all the details you need to help you choose a top-quality roller that will work for you.

Or, if you don’t want to do lots of research and just want our recommendation for the top-rated foam roller, check out the Rumble Roller. It’s a perfect combination of hard and soft-the core is extremely firm, but there are knobs on it so it doesn’t hurt so much, especially when you’re just getting started.

It will help to decrease the pressure on each muscle group, but it can also dig deeper into a specific point if that’s what you’re looking for. Sounds like exactly what you might need? It probably is!

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Have your Say about the Best Time to Foam Roll?

When do you do your rolling? When you wake up, or at night? Before or after a workout? Does it help to decrease your recovery time and tight muscles after a tough workout? And, does it increase your performance on the next one?

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.

Also be sure to give this article a share on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook. It’ll help other fitness buffs, like yourself find this useful resource.

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