Reconsidering What Foam Rolling Your Back Really Does

Reconsidering What Foam Rolling Your Back Really Does

We set the record straight with reconsidering what foam rolling your back really does and what it likely doesn't do. More importantly, we dissect thought-provoking questions and concerns that we typically get when it comes to this topic. Should you actually foam roll your low back, is it safe to do? Why does my low back always feel tight even when I am including foam rolling on a regular basis? We take these questions into consideration and more along with providing answers with actionable steps you can take to resolve your issues.   So what does foam rolling your back actually do? Are we stretching and flattening muscles and fascia like we are prepping a pizza dough? What about scar tissue, are we actually breaking up this disorganized connective tissue so that the joints in our body can move better and more fluidly without any restrictions? What about the spine, are we manipulating the bones and the joints and putting things back in place so that we are perfectly aligned and synchronized? These ideologies have been around for decades and likely aren't going anywhere anytime soon. However, we need to challenge these ideas and our own biases because the statements above are not 100% true, however, that doesn't mean they're 100% false, let us explain.   First and foremost, it is OK to foam roll your back, and your low back too. We are not advocating to stop doing something that may help you (Craig personally foam rolls his back a few times a week). HOWEVER, it would be wise to make sure you know what you're doing so check out the video to get some guidance and tips. Also, it would be great to learn what to do after foam rolling and with your daily life/working out habits so that you can stop depending on or blaming your foam roller (this is also in the video).   Now back to the claims, we would like to apologize for anyone that has sold you on this idea, but we are more than likely not stretching fascia, breaking up scar tissue, or putting anything back in place when foam rolling. We say more than likely because honestly, no one 100% knows (it's really hard/impossible to study this on live humans!!!) However, that doesn't mean the person who told you these claims had bad intentions in the first place. Foam rolling has been examined extensively in scientific research, article after article comes up supporting it and then challenging it for what it does and doesn't do. Here is a summary of the evidence - in the short-term, it can improve range of motion and mobility as well as decrease pain and soreness. The underlying mechanisms for why these benefits occur are still misunderstood, but there seems to be a neuromodulation component, meaning changes in the brain and neuromuscular skeletal system from the foam rolling input.   WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!? Regardless of what is actually happening with foam rolling, we know it can help some people and it is totally ok to do. There is no need to attack and bash people that like doing it, but maybe we do need to confront false statements that make people think and believe THEY NEED TO DEPEND on foam rolling to fix all of their issues. Ultimately, I think we all get too caught up in why things happen. It would be way more worth our time to follow up with people that feel like they need to foam roll daily, or why they're frustrated when foam rolling has failed them. This is a perfect opportunity to shift gears into things we know that can help people 100% of the time - education, movement, and exercise.   DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT 3 MOBILITY & STABILITY EXERCISES YOUR LOW BACK IS CRAVING AT THE END OF THIS VIDEO   At the end of the day, we all have personal biases and preferences that make us act and think in a certain way. It is ok not to agree with us, we can agree to disagree. However, I think everyone can agree people need to move more in this world, and if foam rolling is a vessel to get people moving more, then, by all means, FOAM ROLL IT UP!
Exercise Library