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Questions and answers about sports

When to Stretch and Foam Roll?

4 min read

Asked by: Keith Santosh

Use your foam roller right after your workout — before stretching. Be sure to foam roll the muscle groups you used during your workout, as well as the ones above and below these muscle groups. Foam roll each muscle group for about one minute, making sure not to exceed two minutes on a particular muscle group.

When should foam rolling be done?

Foam rolling can be performed prior to and after your workouts. Before exercise, rolling will increase tissue elasticity, range of motion and circulation (blood flow). This can help you move better during your workout and protect you from injury. Foam rolling post-workout is a great way to enhance recovery.

Do I need to stretch if I foam roll?

And while static stretches post-workout may help lengthen muscle and improve flexibility, foam rolling does all this and more by also targeting and relieving tension in the myofascial layer of your body.

How often should you foam roll and stretch?

I would suggest a frequency of 2-3 times per week is usually adequate in most cases but you can increase this to as much as 3 times per day providing it isn’t increasing your pain levels and you make this change gradually.

Should I stretch before or after foam rolling?

Use your foam roller right after your workout — before stretching. Be sure to foam roll the muscle groups you used during your workout, as well as the ones above and below these muscle groups. Foam roll each muscle group for about one minute, making sure not to exceed two minutes on a particular muscle group.

Should I foam roll before or after warming up?

Foam rolling isn’t intended to take the place of a dynamic warmup before a run. However, according to Fowler, runners should use a foam roller prior to a dynamic warmup. “Use a foam roller to reintroduce movement to tight areas before your dynamic stretching,” she says.

What should you never do when foam rolling?

Never use a foam roller all over the body. In fact, you should limit your rolling to the soft tissues of the body with a focus on the muscles. Here is an email from a reader who hurt something while foam-rolling his leg near the iliotibial band (ITB). Stew, I think I hurt my knee foam-rolling.

Is it better to stretch or massage sore muscles?

Stretching is better because it helps increase range of motion and decrease injury,” Dr. Mehling confirms. “You’ll have decreased muscle tension and spasms, an increased muscle range of motion, and decreased muscle injury.” Who knows?

Why does a foam roller hurt so much?

You may find it painful to foam roll at first if your muscles are tight. To adjust pressure, reduce the amount of body weight you’re putting onto the roller. For example, if you’re rolling out your calf, use your arms to help support your body and take some of your body weight off of the roller.

Should I stretch or massage first?

But in what order should they be done after a workout? Michele Masset, a D.C. physical therapist and owner of Masset Acupuncture & Physical Therapy Center, says it makes the most sense to first get a massage or foam-roll and then stretch. “It’s like priming the muscles for the stretching,” Masset says.

When should you stretch?

Stretch your body when your muscles are already warm, either after a warmup or at the end of your workout as part of a cool-down routine. Or, you can do a simple stretching routine on its own. Doing stretches after you warm up and before you start a high-intensity activity can cause your heart rate to drop.

Can you overdo foam rolling?

Can you overdo foam rolling? When it comes to foam rolling, yes, you can overdo it. Excessively using a foam roller on a specific area can increase injuries and leave you in more pain. Instead, limit foam rolling to 30 to 90 seconds per muscle group and include 10 seconds of stretching in between each roll.

Why shouldn’t you foam roll your lower back?

A foam roller is a way to release muscle tension in the lower back; however, it’s important to avoid putting too much pressure directly on your lower back muscles. If you’re experiencing low back pain, the cause may be from tight muscles or muscle knots in another part of your body.

How often should I stretch?

two to three times a week

Keep up with your stretching.



But you can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. Even 5 to 10 minutes of stretching at a time can be helpful. Skipping regular stretching means that you risk losing the potential benefits.