I’m not sure what you would call too often? Can you make your body feel better too often? Not me! When I discovered foam rolling, I discovered my own magical masseuse on call 24/7. With that said, the question “can you foam roll too often?” becomes a legitimate question.
Reading this post should give you a better idea of just often you should foam roll without causing problems.
Foam rolling twice a day is normal. More on workout days. The relief from sitting in this chair for hours at the time is almost miraculous. That’s why it’s a routine in my daily life now, like brushing my teeth or taking a shower.
Check out the Best Foam Rollers for muscle pain and soreness.
I suggest at least once a day for anyone who works out or exercises several times a week. More than that if you are sore after exercise. However, there’s something more important than how often.
How Long is More Important Than How Often
Because foam rolling takes so little time, most people have no problem working the practice into their daily schedule.
However, it might be easy for you to roll a trigger point or muscle too long and cause a problem with either a smooth or textured roller.
I’ve never found anyone suggesting you roll a sore trigger spot more than 60 seconds, and I’ve found 15-20 seconds is all I need. Staying on a sore spot longer than that can lead to more tenderness, soreness and even bruising.
Static vs Dynamic Pressure When Foam Rolling
Static pressure is when you find a trigger point, stop rolling and continue holding pressure on that spot. Dynamic pressure is applying pressure as you continue to roll.
Trigger points aren’t necessarily the symptom of only one muscle being tight or injured in some way. But rather, several muscles are usually sending nerve signals to it.
When you locate one of these sore spots, stop and apply as much static pressure as you can for a few seconds in an attempt to release it. Now, move on to massage that area and surrounding muscles with dynamic pressure for the best results.
After a few seconds in one particular area, start massaging a larger area. Massaging muscles with this method means you can’t do it too often. The key is to not overwork one area. Be careful that you don’t concentrate on only one knot, and leave many untouched.
Where You Start Is Important
Here’s a tip: Don’t start rolling on the sore muscle or trigger point. Instead, start away from that area. Start in a place where it’s more comfortable, and then work your way into known tension and tenderness.
This will allow you to relieve tension and tightness a little at the time rather than outright attacking a sore place. The right approach relaxes and soothes muscles and fascia in a more enjoyable way without aggravating the problem.
Rolling Before and After Exercise
Rolling your back, shoulders, thighs and legs can be done in less than 15 minutes, so it’s not a time consumer. How often do you stretch before you exercise? I don’t like to replace stretching with foam rolling, but some people do.
Try foam rolling before you stretch, or do yoga, and the results will be amazing. In just a few minutes the density of soft tissue decreases in muscles and they all relax with the additional blood flow.
Most any physical activity you engage in, tends to shorten and tighten muscles used, which is part of the soreness of post-workout soreness.
Foam rollers, on the other hand, are for relaxing and stretching muscle and fascia.
Whether you deal with muscle soreness after intense exercise or a day at work, foam rolling more often gets you over it quicker. Even though runners are some of the biggest proponents of foam rolling, it produces the same effect for someone tight from sitting long hours.
Good Hurt vs Pain
You should be able to foam roll 7 days a week. Depending on how sore or how tight your muscles are you might experience a little pain. But, the truth is when you apply pressure to a tight muscle you can expect it to hurt a little no matter how often you massage it.
The main thing here is to expect a “good Hurt” rather than a sharp pain that’s unbearable. If that’s happening I would not continue with a foam roller and think of professional help.
There’s nothing like foam rolling when it comes to increasing blood flow and relaxing sore and stiff muscles in your back or anywhere else. Foam rollers and newfound attention are one of the best things to come around lately when it comes to relaxing muscles and pain relief.
Foam rolling for 10-15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day is not too often in most cases. However, I would add that if you are just starting out, you can leave yourself with sore muscles, especially if you are too aggressive.
Foam rolling is usually done by you controlling the pressure with your own body weight. It’s a self-massage, so every part of it is up to your own discretion. The more often you roll, the easier it will be, and the better the results will improve.