Foam Roller FTW: Tips, Links and a Discount

I was introduced to foam rolling about four years ago at a Boot Camp and sometimes it’s hard to believe I ever lived my life this super simple little stack of foamy love.

If you’re not yet familiar with it, the technical term for “foam rolling” is self myofascial release (SMR) which frankly sounds kind of dirty, but that’s besides the point.

SMR is pretty simple. You get a foam roller and then roll around on it, using your body weight to create pressure to massage and stretch sore muscles.

How To

In general (this is how I was taught):

  1. Find a tender spot in the area you’re working on and keep the roller on that spot. Wait for the discomfort to diminish by 50-75%. (Be patient, this could take some time.)
  2. When this area is no longer sensitive, move on to other areas and repeat.
  3. When the area is free of pain and can be easily rolled over, continue rolling regularly to keep the area relaxed.
  4. Use Mr. Foamy Pants as a warm-up prior to activity and also for a warm-down after workouts.

I dug up some great resources online that show proper technique. has an entire library of good videos. (While you’re there you might also check out the super thorough video demonstration of “Super Man” – one of my favorite exercises. )

Running Times has a brief overview of how it helps runners, with a few photo demos of how to target the most important leg muscles.

The page for Foam Rolling also has some pretty good information on what SMR is, how it works, with photos and written explanation for various stretches.


Foam rolling is really effective. And by effective I mean, it’s like getting a very aggressive, deep massage. It can hurt if you’re dealing with really sore body parts, but that usually goes away after you’ve been using it for a while. (I swear.)

Get One Cheap – $17 until Monday

Don’t have one? Not to worry. I strong-armed the OpenSky crew into letting me offer a discount of 17% from now until Monday, March 15th (use code “17Foam” at checkout). That means this little baby will ring in right around $17 when all is said and done.

If you got two $70 massages a month for an entire year, you’d spend $1680.00.

Foam roll instead and you’re saving a whopping $1663.00! Now you can buy me something nice. Wasn’t that easy? Yes, yes it was.

To nab your high-density foam roller, head on over to the GnG General Store and use the code “17Foam” when you check out.

[Note: For more info on the my store at OpenSky, check out this post.]

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  1. Thanks Heidi!

    I’ve been putting off buying one for far too long, but when the price is right…

  2. I have one and can definitely vouch for its ‘effectiveness’! One of the most useful bits of kit I have. Thanks for this, Heidi.

  3. x2 what Adam said, its like an early birthday present to meself. Thanks!

  4. Nicholas

    I regularly fork out around $70 for a massage – I’ve definitely got to get hold of one of these. Wondering where they might stock these in Oz?

  5. Oh yes, the foam roller is truly one of the greatest inventions ever. 5 minutes with that thing can mean the difference between feeling good, and days of pain and compromised performance. Not to mention bad moods. Nobody likes me when I’m in a bad mood.

  6. My birthday is in September :D Oh! I could SO use a massage. I did CPR for so long yesterday…

  7. mekaylah

    i cannot WAIT to get the foam roller! i’ve been putting this purchase off for awhile as well. i looked at the wares you have in your store and we have the same taste in appliances. i have the same mixer, juicer, blender, rice cooker, food processor, and a few other assorted things in there already. i knew i liked you for a reason! thanks!

  8. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right.

    With that said, warm up slowly, rolling over the affected area w/medium pressure for a few minutes first. Then, bear down on a knots or burr. Hold it. Hoooooold it. It should go past pain — that’s when your muscles’ nerve endings will trigger full release of the tension. (Still sounds dirty, dun’t it?)

    When I first started w/roller, my wife would walk into the room after hearing me whimper in pain, and say, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

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