Whats the deal with FOAM ROLLERS?

Whats the deal with FOAM ROLLERS?



Ok, easy & simple answer: NO, BUT YES IF THATS YOUR THING


My RECOMMENDATION would be only for the right reasons and application!


Let me explain, while you find your why...


Moshé Feldenkrais was a physicist and engineer who developed his own method of self healing called the: “FELDENKRAIS METHOD” due to a knee injury he refused to get surgery for. In this method he created, and started teaching back in the 60s, Moshé Feldenkrais used foam rollers as a tool in order to teach balance, stability, and neurological connections to movement patterns. His motto was “AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT” and the love he had for human movement came from his love of MARTIAL ARTS.


Fast forward to the 1980s a Student of Feldenkrais, Sean Gallagher (Physical Therapist) helped a group of Broadway starts to get started into using the foam rollers as part of their prep/warmup routine, which at that moment, the dancers & performers fell in love by how they “felt” after using them as a type of massage. This in turn, helped boom the modality of foam rolling to broadway dancers.


Finally, we arrive in the strength and conditioning world when Physical Therapist Mike Clark coined the term “SELF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE” in order to inform the benefits he believed came from foam rolling. His work with foam rollers & myofascial release got picked up by the weightlifting community somehow and spread like WILDFIRE!


Thats the story we have been sold, and apparently what happened, but I wasn’t there, so I don’t know... What I DO KNOW is that its a huge market and foam rollers were patented, printed, and shipped to get sold, so it needs to be popular and marketable since its making money and the more people rely on it, the better for the money pockets!


In any case... The idea is this...


We want to feel better, and we want to know what works best, so we try EVERYTHING! Although, not everything works because we don’t understand what WORKS means.


Just because you feel something, doesn’t mean that it is having a positive ADAPTATION. An adaptation is a change created by a demand to change, or in biological dictionary terms: “a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment”.


I personally want to be better suited to the environment of  training at high volume, high speed, and high demand of work performance just as much as all my athletes. So, I want to use the tools that suit me better and best for that demand!


Popular understanding of our muscles teach that they behave either in an overcoming action, a yielding action, and both simultaneously... This is commonly defined as concentric, eccentric, and isometric muscle actions. But with new anatomical science we have found that its not only the muscles that determine the way, but also all the tissues involved! Like our ligaments, tendons, bones, and even fluids within the body are actively DOING and take part in this synergy that puts together human performance. THIS IS WHERE THE FOAM ROLLER COMES IN... Gym People have been trained to believe that you could use a foam roller to “PREP” your muscles by taking out any “KNOTS” or having the muscles behave in a more “RELAXED” manner, also to “ALLEVIATE PAIN” from soreness, and even to “CURE” pain from an injury. We have been told that THIS WORKS, but there is no SCIENTIFIC DATA to tell us that, no studies that show what the stiffness of the foam roller should be in order to get the response we want, or even any real evidence as to wether its better than DYNAMIC STRETCHING or just MOVEMENT PREPPING.... also, smashing tissue when it’s injured doesn’t sound like LOGIC at all... you ever had your mom rub on a bruise or a head bump? Not a good idea then, not a good idea now... let the body heal itself as it’s naturally intended to, leave it alone and go see a professional if the pain persists.




  1. Foam rollers don’t prep ligaments, tendons, bone, fluids, or neurological readiness for training demand or physical activities
  2. Foam rollers are popular but the science hasn’t determined them to be good in one way or any way, since the stiffness of the foam rollers vary so much with brands & personal preferences due to pain thresholds
  3. What we DO know is that ATHLETES THEMSELVES who prefer using them, feel better by doing so... and some of them are world class athletes!
  4. If you press against your muscles too hard and your body braces due to pain as you keep smashing it, you might be desensitizing your body in a way that you will not be able to “feel” as much when you’re about to injure yourself and unknowingly break or tweak something 


Simply put... IT’S A PERSONAL PREFERENCE but not a SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND PROVEN SCIENCE that has been proven to give you any ADVANTAGE


So here are the options:


  1. If you like it and have time to do it, GO AHEAD just make sure you understand that if you do it too hard, it might create the opposite adaptation of your muscles by making them behave in a concentric action because you’ve basically hurt them and they are bracing due to pain
  2. If you don’t know, don’t do it, just go into movement preparation and blood flow, basically, get warmed up and break a sweat before starting the bigger lifts or faster stuff
  3. If you don’t do them, don’t worry, you’re not missing out
  4. If you like them and don’t have the time, it’s ok, let it go!
  5. If you don’t agree with the foam rolling crowd and don’t like them, cool! Just worry about how you’re prepping for best performance in your own way.


Ok! If you got through all that reading, OH MAN! Thank you for baring with me here... If you have any comments or questions, you can always find me on my IG PAGE: @BLAZECAMP and we can discuss all of this together, maybe I’m missing something and we can build upon it!



Coach Lalo




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