A Quick Guide to Foam Rolling

All about that Fascia!

All of the muscles in our bodies are surrounded by fascia: a connective tissue made up of collagen fibres. If the fascia becomes too tight, it decreases range of motion and impedes our muscles from doing their job.

So Why Foam Roll?

Foam rolling helps break down adhesions that form in the fascia that build up over time due to repetitive movements or injury. Once these adhesions are broken down it allows the fascia to glide over the muscle and increases overall range of motion.

How do we do it?

1. Roll back and forth in the region that is ‘tight’ for about 30–60 seconds.

2. Work the whole region and then go back over the area 3–4 times with a broad long roll.

3. If you find a ‘trigger point,’ go over the area and apply direct pressure (this can take up to 2 minutes ) to allow the muscle adhesion to release. It may take more than one session to work out the trigger point!

4. Remember not to roll the bursa regions of the body (rolling on bone = bursa!)

5. Don’t forget to stretch post-foam roll. Rolling does not replace stretching, it complements it!


Place the foam roller perpendicular the front of your thigh whilst in the plank position. Again, you can roll with either two legs on the foam roller or one , which will increase intensity. I often find that the hand-held roller works my quads more easily.


Place the foam roller perpendicular to the back of your thigh, keeping clear of the back of your knee. Roll back and forth for 2–3 minutes. You can do either two legs at a time (both on the foam roller) or to increase the intensity, cross one leg over the other.


Using either a foam roller or lacrosse/massage ball, cross one leg over the other and roll in a side-to-side fashion on the ‘tight spots’ for 2 -3 min at a time.

Adductor Group

Place the foam roller parallel to your legs, and with your hands and feet on the ground, bend one leg so that it is at 90 degrees in a ‘frog-like’ position and roll your inner thigh. These muscles can be tricky to get at. If you cannot maintain this position, using the hand- held roller works well too!

TFL (Tensor Fascia Lata)

Place your lacrosse ball/massage ball in the area about five finger breadths above the widest part of your hip (greater trochanter). Using a wall, roll back and forth on the trigger point area — use caution to not roll on the greater trochanter itself, there is a bursa that can be irritated there!


Place the foam roller under your buttock. It is very importance to ensure that you are not on your SITS bone, there is a bursa that lies here, and this can be extremely painful if you foam roll it, and you can cause bursitis by doing so. To get an extra stretch you can place your leg in the ‘figure four’ position or use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball.

Foam rolling is an essential part of any training regime, stretching and keeping the fascia limber is crucial to prevent injury!
Questions? Drop us a line at hello @ kineticliving.ca

Photography: Des Iles Photography

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