I’m not a fitness pro, in fact, up until a few years ago, I was a fitness zero. But more on that, some other time.
So, me not a pro, but I’m blessed to train with a pro, Bryna Carracino founder of REHAB by Bryna and well-respected Fitness Expert, who has taught me how to listen to my body, make it flow for me, and nurture it with proper fitness, food, sleep and rolling.
A foam roller is that long tube you see at the gym. It’s a great tool for lengthening muscles and improving circulation. I got one after my second pregnancy, per the suggestion of my physical therapist.
I’m super delighted Bryna is sharing her pro tips on how to roll, what to roll, and when not to roll.
Also, do check out our video on IG TV, with extra tips and visual support for you fit, flexy mamas.
A foam roller will length a muscle and improve circulation, but the RumbleRoller will also get rid of adhesions, the body spots that feel sore. It’s also great for those who have experience in trigger point therapy through self massage.
If you can roll before a workout, that will warm the body up and help to increase mobility. If you can roll during your workout, that can also help increase range of body motion, if it’s limited. Post work, rolling out is great for recovery and to prevent muscle soreness.
PRO TIP: You want to make sure you don’t spend more than 3 minutes per muscle group.
Ideally, you want a full body roll every day, but if that’s not manageable because it does take some time, just break it up. Do upper body on Monday, then lower body on Tuesday, full body on Wednesday, and then go back to lower body Thursday, etc.
PRO TIP: Remember to breath during this whole process. Holding the breath creates more internal tension, which you don’t want. Breath in when you find an adhesion. Breath out when you’re working on releasing adhesion. Repeat. And, please take your time. This is a massage, and you need the time to locate adhesions. And, you need time to release them as well.
Always listen to your body, and be mindful of your medical conditions. Consult with your doctor if your questioning any physical activity. But, as a rule of thumb, avoid rolling lower back, and over any joints in the body. You only want to roll muscle.
PRO TIP: If you have a painful adhesion, you can roll around the pain first. Then, come back to the knot to see if it has dissipated.
I have my prenatal clients using a rumble roller until mid/end of the second trimester. I then have them using a flat roller for the remainder of the pregnancy. The rumble roller is like a deep tissue massage which releases toxins into the body. It’s best to avoid that, as your pregnancy progresses.
PRO TIP: I also tell my clients to not roll out calves past second trimester. Massaging calves could stimulate uterus enough to induce labor.
The rumble can be painful, so there is a progression with a rumble roller. Some parts of the body like the Iliotibial Band, which are found on your other thigh area, are insanely tight for most people. With those areas, it’s better to hold the roller and manually roll, versus using your whole body weight and pressing in. Or, if you have a flat, foam roller use that first to loosen and lengthen the area. Then, try using the rumble roller again.
PRO TIP: Remember maximum rolling per muscle group is 3 to 4 minutes. It’s about breaking up fascia (the band of tissue that surrounds muscles), but the body may not be ready to fully release the adhesion. If so, move onto another muscle group. Give that area recovery time, and come back to it 24hrs later.
While it was painful at first, I find that the rumble roller does go deep, and, when I use it properly, I not only knead out my built up mama body drama, I also give myself permission to take time to improve the function of my body.