How to massage hamstrings – does foam rolling work?

hamstring massage

For rolling away muscle tightness in your quads, the foam roller is a tried and tested tool, but when it comes to the hamstrings, the foam roller is less effective. Let’s take look at why this is, and what we can do to improve the tissue quality of our hamstrings in place of foam rolling. Continue reading

Is foam rolling always necessary before doing squats?

is foam rolling always necessarySometimes people ask us whether it is always necessary for them to do foam rolling before performing lower body exercises such as squats. The question usually comes up because they are finding the rolling takes up quite a lot of their scarce time, which they feel should be set aside for exercise.

There is no doubt about it, lower body foam rolling can be very time consuming. In our self-treatment videos, part 3a and part 3b, we go through six basic foam rolls we recommend for people suffering from knee pain. Even if you were only going to spend a minute on each roll, that would take up 12 minutes (one roll for each side of the body) – more like 15 minutes if we include time to transition between each roll. Those with particularly stubborn knots in their muscles might not find this is enough time and it would take even longer. Explained like this, it’s easy to see how this sort of work can eat into a training session. Continue reading

How to use a foam roller to correct patella maltracking: the lower leg

foam rollers for lower leg patella maltracking exercise

In the second in our series of exercises to use foam rolling to correct patella maltracking, we are focusing on the lower leg. After the outer quads, the lower leg muscles are the next most important area to address, because tightness in the lower legs can restrict your ankle movements, which can lead to a whole host of movement compensations. These movements, though you might not be aware of it now, are integral to a number of exercises (and everyday body movements) that will help you rebalance your knees and ultimately cure your knee pain. This rolling exercise, then, is a necessary building block for strong, pain free knees: Continue reading

How to use a foam roller to correct patella maltracking: the outer quads

foam rollers for outer quad patella maltracking exercise

There is already a vast wealth of information about foam rolling on the internet, so our current series of guides are designed to focus specifically on using foam rolling to help correct patella maltracking. To start, we’ll look at a foam rolling exercise designed to loosen the outer quad (vastus lateralis). This is the area where tightness in the muscle is most likely to cause an imbalance in the patella motion, as noted in our explanation of patella maltracking. When you want to relieve knee pain, it’s vital to relieve the knots in your muscles, and this is an effective way to start: Continue reading

What is patella maltracking?

patella maltracking logoPatella maltracking is one of the main causes of knee problems, so it’s important to understand why it occurs. If you have general knee problems, this brief guide will help clarify exactly what patella maltracking is and how it might be responsible for your pain. We will explain what the patella is, why it tracks incorrectly and the problems this can cause, as well as briefly touch on what can be done to relieve pain. Continue reading