I’d say foam rolling (self myofascial release) has gained a lot of popularity in the fitness world in recent years.
And in most cases, that is a good thing.
Strength coach great Mike Boyle refers to foam rolling as addressing tissue quality.
The older we get…or the harder we work our muscles…the more time we should spend on maintaining and improving tissue quality.
Our video walks through a full body foam rolling sequence, but don’t take it as a must to perform tissue work on every muscle of the body every time you get down to roll.
If you know you have a tight muscle group or some soreness, spend more time on that particular area.
You can roll before, during (in between sets), or after a workout.
If maximal strength and lifting heavy weights is your goal, be cautious about rolling too much prior to loading the body with the iron. You don’t want to be too lax under tension.
Most people could benefit from rolling before a workout. It can work out knots, increase blood flow, and help relax tight muscles that may be holding a certain joint back from full range of motion.
If you roll before a workout, simply follow it up with a 5-10 minute dynamic warm up consisting of some calisthenics, skips/jumps, and light warm up sets prior to really loading up an exercise.