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How to Work in Foam Rolling?

I’ve searched the site and can’t quite seem to find an answer to this but it should be quick and easy to answer…

How do you work in foam rolling with stretching? Should they be done together? On alternating days? Or does foam rolling replace stretching for the most part?

I am currently trying to do 30-45 mins of stretching a day (I’m not very flexible, I can’t cross my legs, though I pretty much can now) and have just got back in the gym and been foam rolling for 10-15 minutes as a warm up. I just bought a foam roller so I can use it at home.

My main goal out of this is mobility and flexibilty.

foam roll before, stretch after is a good rule of thumb

I like foam rolling (or any other SMR tool) before lifting. Focus on the tender spots. I recommend The Grid foam roller and a lacrosse ball for harder to get spots (plantar fascia, TFL, piriformis, and so on). In my opinion soft tissue quality is one of the most important things for feeling good and staying healthy.

I don’t really stretch. Well, sometimes I static stretch, but not usually. Sometimes in the evening before sleep I’ll do a 2-minute calf stretch, or 2-minute ‘couch stretch’ (check out www.mobilitywod.com). I’ve always been a supple person but I really think a lot of my lifting has increased my flexibility (deep squats, stiff legged deads, etc). The only time I’ll static stretch before lifting is if I feel something is particularly really tight (like my hip or calf), but usually this isn’t the case and is generally reserved for chronically overactive muscles.

Mobility/dynamic stretching is a different story, that’s something I do before every workout, but after foam rolling. It increases blood flow, puts joints and their muscles through their range of motion… you can also focus on some activation/pre-hab stuff here, like glute bridges for your glutes or side-lying clams for the posterior glute medius.

I recently started foam rolling a lot more due to an injury rather than just off days. I think it works best to do before stretching like rampant badger said. I usually foam roll, do some static stretching for problem areas, then a few dynamic stretches and get into it.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I recently started foam rolling a lot more due to an injury rather than just off days. I think it works best to do before stretching like rampant badger said. I usually foam roll, do some static stretching for problem areas, then a few dynamic stretches and get into it. [/quote]

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