Foam Rolling – Is it Necessary?


foam rollers

It seems that every runner talks about how they foam roll or that they aren’t foam rolling enough but should do it more.

Keep this in mind, I believe that it is a placebo and that companies want to sell foam rollers and they make us believe that they help.

Feel free to disagree.  I’m sure that most of you will.

Like anything else, if you Google it, you will find the answers that you want.

Foam Rolling is a waste of time:

Foam Rolling is essential:

So even if you are belong to Pro Foam Roller camp, here are ways not to spend a lot of money on these useless tools:

  • Tennis Ball
  • 4 inch diameter PVC pipe for less than 1 dollar.
  • from Walmart, the thickest swimming pool foam tube (pool noodle), which is about 4 inches in diameter
  • 3 golf balls into a thin cotton sock
  • Lacrosse Ball

So I wrote this post prior to my recent leg injury.

Many of you may want to say, “If you foam rolled after that half marathon, you would not have gotten injured.”

Maybe so.

Maybe not. I did not foam roll after my previous 33 half marathons and no leg pain. My chiro agrees with me and attributes the injury to walking on the beach which uses muscles that we don’t use often added to 13.1 miles of running and 2 hours garden walking – Yes, an overuse injury.

As with compression, she says to do what you normally do and it works if you believe it to work.


As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics and starts today!!

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.


I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Aye or Nay to Foam Rollers?

23 thoughts on “Foam Rolling – Is it Necessary?

  1. I feel like this post could also apply to stretching – both have their strong arguments in both directions. I know I don’t roll as often as I should — but I do better than I could. For me foam rolling helps with the knots. I usually use the gym’s rollers but I have two at home. A “standard” one that I got as a gift, a little studded ball that was great for my PF flare. I also have a massage stick that paid for itself in stretching out in the car back to Delray from FLL, but I don ‘t convert anyone. Everyone does what works for him/herself

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would argue that PVC is probably way to hard for rolling. You know my thoughts on foam rolling but no, I wouldn’t attribute your injury to not foam rolling. And it’s not a good idea to roll an active injury either.

    I do personally believe that most active people could really benefit from foam rolling, and I disagree about it being a placebo (same feelings about compression socks) but that’s just my opinion and of course I am not a dr.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While I don’t foam roll often enough, I do notice a difference when I do it more regularly (less tightness and soreness, etc). I think this should fall into the category as “whatever works for you”. I also know a lot of runners that barely do any strength training and they never get injured – that’s not the case for me, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is probably one of those things where different bodies respond differently! It’s so funny how different we all are. I definitely notice that my calves feel better when I foam roll, but that’s pretty much the only body part where I seem to need it for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m on the whatever works/feels good for you, then go for it. Which is why I don’t wear compression sleeves – egad they make me feel like the circulation is being cut off – but hey, other people like them, so there you go. My husband foam rolled throughout his marathon training and got to the start line feeling the best he’s ever felt before a race; I might foam roll a handful of times in a year. But I do love my buffer, which works out the knots in my calves and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. Funny how we are all different!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. According to Good to Go, the most recent book I reviewed, foam rolling, stretching, etc hasn’t been scientifically proven to help. There is the placebo effect, that is, if you believe it will help, it will….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Although I foam roll, I do not do it consistently, nor do I do it as often as I feel I should. I do notice a difference when I do dynamic stretching, though. Sometimes I foam roll before a run, and that always warms up my muscles….at least I think it does LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Honestly I never heard people say that foam rolling is a waste of time. It’s funny – my hubby runs a lot and has probably never foam rolled in his life – and he hasn’t had any injuries. Meanwhile I always feel like I don’t foam roll enough and I’ve had my share of issues! I guess it just depends on the person!

    Liked by 1 person

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