Your Foam Rolling Questions Answered

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Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique that helps release knots in the muscles.  When you find a knot, apply gentle force to stimulate your Golgi tendon organ (GTO). The GTO is the guy that tells your muscle to relax.

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When you foam roll, you are breaking up knots within your muscles.  This helps you release muscle tension and prevent injuries during your workout.


You don’t have to be an athlete or a serious bodybuilder to foam roll. Everyone should be doing this!


Here are the most typically asked questions that we get about foam rolling.


Q: "Should I be feeling so much pain when I do foam rolling?"


A: It depends on the person but you will feel some discomfort.  On a scale from 1 to 10, do not go more than a level 7 though.  If you are lower than 5 there may not be enough pressure so you can go a little more.


The point of foam rolling is to release tight muscles, not devastate them. 🙂  You want to relax into the pressure. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.


Q: "Who should NOT be foam rolling?"


A: There are some people who may not benefit from foam rolling. In some cases, this could cause injury rather than help you.


If you have these conditions, do not foam roll - talk to a professional first like your doctor, therapist, or personal trainer (me) for alternate smr techniques.



-circulatory problems

-some pregnant women

-if you have anything not comfortable foam rolling (ex. bumps, bruises etc.)


This list is not limited so if you have a condition either talk to your doctor or send me a message.


Q: "When should I foam roll?"


A: You want to foam roll before your workout to improve your range of motion and to improve your movement patterns.  This is also going to reduce your chances of injury or pulling a muscle during your workout.


You can foam roll after your workout too but don't ONLY foam roll after.  If you have to choose between before or after your workout, always choose before.

SMR with a roller

Q: "If I have a larger body size and have trouble foam rolling on the floor should I just skip it?"


A: Do not skip foam rolling - you can use a handheld roller!


You can foam roll against the wall as well especially if you have knee or hip issues and getting to the ground is difficult for you.


Safety first!

Here is what you can look for or something similar:

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A Note About Foam Rolling

If the site you are foam rolling:



-feels numb




If you feel these things while you are foam rolling, stop.  Any of these is probably indicating that you're either on a blood supply or a nerve. You want to be on the muscle only.


Thank you so much for reading, I hope this article has helped answer some of your questions.  Send me a message if you have any questions or want a recommendation on what foam roller to get and how to foam roll.  If foam rolling is not your thing, message me for other techniques.


SMR before your workout

Nancy Valdez with Rafael PT Fitness RPT Fitness in Austin TX

Nancy Valdez

Nancy has been in the health and fitness industry since 2019.  She is a certified personal trainer & insured.

Areas of Expertise

Online Training, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Strength Training, Core and Balance, Flexibility and Mobility, Muscle Gain, Stress Reduction.

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