WHY DO WE DO IT?
In short, the purpose of foam rolling is to lengthen shortened muscles - those with limited range of motion that are typically tender.
HOW IT WORKS
When you apply pressure to a muscle using a foam roller, fluid is displaced to other areas. When this pressure is removed, fresh fluids and nutrients flood
back into the area. Adding additional movements or stretching afterwards forces more fluids into the area and helps improve the overall movement of the muscle.
IDENTIFY - slowly roll your muscle along the roller. This prepares the muscle, increases circulation, and will allow you to identify tender spots.
TARGET - once you have identified 2-3 tender spots along the muscle, hold pressure on them.
MOBILIZE - while holding pressure on the roller, move the joint on the opposite side. For example, when rolling the calf muscles, move your ankle forward and backward; if rolling the quadriceps or the hamstrings, bend at the knee.
FLUSH - conclude by slowly rolling the entire length of the muscle to flush out the area.
GET MORE FROM YOUR ROUTINE
If you are looking to increase your flexibility further, studies show that following up with static stretches and functional movements will help increase your mobility even more.