Should A Foam Roller Hurt My Muscles?

Foam rollers are actually low-impact exercise tools. However, they don’t impact your muscles and joints the same as lifting a dumbbell over and over? But they can definitely cause your muscles to hurt, especially if over used.

Should A Foam Roller Hurt?

This discomfort is perfectly normal and not something that you should be worried about. If you notice that your foam roller is really hurting you, that is a problem that is worth noting.

The most likely cause is not your foam roller, but you.

If you don’t use a foam roller correctly, you can end up hurting and causing yourself quite a bit of pain.

Read this post to see what a foam roller is supposed to help.

In this article, you are going to see 4 common foam roller mistakes that can cause your foam roller to hurt you.

1. Rolling Too Often Over The Same Area

A foam roller is low impact, but that doesn’t mean that you can do it 50 times in the same area and not feel anything.

Foam rollers work, and a good general rule of thumb is that you should never work an area more than 10 times in a single session. Rolling too often in a single session isn’t “bad” for you in the sense that it will cause any serious damage, but it will leave you feeling really sore at the end.

2. Rolling Directly On An Injured Area

If you have a sore joint or muscle, it might be tempting to take the foam roller and use it directly on the injured area.

However, this is actually the wrong thing to do. Rolling directly over the injured area will likely just hurt muscles and result in more back pain. Instead, you want to try and roll either above or below the injured area, which will help to soothe the injured area.

3. Using The Wrong Foam Roller

Foam rollers come in different sizes and densities, so you have to pick the one that is right for you. If you use one that is too small or if the density isn’t right, then you could end up hurting yourself or having no impact when using the foam roller.

4. Rolling Too Fast

Using a foam roller isn’t expected to be a quick fix. When using a foam roller, you should be taking your time when using it. Rolling too quickly will put too much pressure on your muscles, which will just lead to soreness.

Instead, try rolling very slowly, but with a lot of force behind each roll. This will have the most impact and it won’t leave you feeling too sore afterward.

Which Roller to Use

When first start using a foam roller it’s usually better to start with one that’s not to dense or aggressive. The harder rollers will likely hurt a lot until the muscle tissue starts breaking down and the muscles start to lengthen back to their original shape.

After you’ve learned to use a softer foam roller correctly, learning to apply just the right amount of pressure with your body weight is the time to upgrade to something more aggressive.


The truth of the matter is this: most people are using a foam roller because of sore muscles. So, no matter what you do, you can expect some degree of hurt, right?

Even though you are very unlikely to damage anything, if you use a roller that’s to dense, use it too long, or use it wrong, there’s going to be too much pain.

For the best results, you should only stay on any muscle for a few seconds before moving on. It’s ok to come back, but to avoid the excess hurting, make long passes over the area and don’t hang out there too long.

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