Foam Rolling

What is a Foam Roller?

A foam roller is a lightweight, cylindrical tube of compressed foam. It may be used for many reasons, including increasing flexibility, reducing soreness and eliminating muscle knots.  Foam rolling is a form of ‘self myofascial release’ or self massage. 

Why is foam rolling good for you?

Research has shown that foam rollers can do four things:

  1. Decrease post exercise soreness up to 3 days after an exercise bout
  2. Decrease tenderness to touch (mechanical sensitivity)
  3. Improve range of motion at the joint in the short term 
  4. Small changes in vertical leap post foam rolling


Overall, foam rolling increases blood flow to your muscles, improving delivery of oxygen during your workout.  It also helps to relieve muscle tension, especially after a hard workout.   

What doesn’t it do?

Foam rolling does not change muscle or fascia length or destroy ‘trigger points’- the change in range of motion seen after foam rolling is due to increased tolerance to stretch due to nervous system desensitisation rather than a change in structure.

How do I use it?

The foam roller can be used on a wide range of muscles, simply by rolling back and forth over the length of the muscle itself. 

It is often uncomfortable, especially over a particularly tight area however it is best to not push in to too much pain as this could be counterproductive. 

The good news is, research has shown no difference in 30 seconds of foam rolling versus 5 minutes so don’t spend all day on it!

What do we recommend?

Foam rolling can be applied before a workout, in conjunction with a dynamic warm up to take advantage of the short term changes in joint range of motion and performance. 

Foam rolling can also be used as needed after a workout, particularly if experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness. Test/retest yourself and see the changes yourself, for example try rolling your legs before a leg workout and see how it affects your mobility and performance. 

Foam Rolling Exercises


Upper Back Roll

Lie on your back and place the roller under your upper back, just below your shoulder blades. Lift your hips slightly, engage your core, then roll slowly on your upper back area. 

Upper Back Stretch

Lower your hips, keep your lower back straight, place your hands behind your head for support, and relax into an arch over the roller.  

Hip Flexors

Lie on your side, and lift your body enough to place the roller under your hip. Stabilise your core for balance, then roll slowly from hip to above the knee. Switch to the other side and repeat. 


Sit on the foam roller (width-wise), and cross right foot over left knee and use your hands for support behind you. Lean in slightly as you roll, which will amplify the massage on your glutes. This can also help for sciatica. 

Northern Beaches Physiotherapy

Team8 Physio is a local  northern beaches physiotherapy practice - two convenient Dee Why locations

Your local physiotherapist Dee Why

Hope you found our blog on Foam Rolling useful.

Team8 Physio Dee Why, is your local northern beaches physiotherapy company.  We are committed to providing an effective treatment plan for clients who are suffering from a sports, training or fitness injury, may have back or neck pain or require rehabilitation following surgery.  

Our expert team of physiotherapists consult from our conveniently located Dee Why Physiotherapist practices.   Our  treatments are one-on-one within our private physiotherapy rooms, ensuring privacy and confidentially.  

As your local physiotherapist Dee Why, Team8 Physio also provides massage therapy, exercise classes, specialised dietician as well as running clinics and Workcover & CTP injuries.  For our full list of services available, visit our website.

Get back to living a pain-free, healthy and active lifestyle.  Call us today to book an appointment with one of our expert physiotherapists.