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Does anybody know the best time to use a foam roller? Is it better to use it when your muscles are warm, like after a workout or when your muscles are cold? I am having IT band issues and have been using a foam roller but am unsure of when it is most effective. Thanks!
Hi. I have been dealing with IT band problems until I got my roller and do regular stretches. I use the roller once or twice a day (I'll roll over my glutes and calves as well). I use it at the conclusion of my big stretch before I go to bed. I do specific IT stretches thoughout the day as well. My IT band symptoms have been gone for over a year now since I have been looking after them. I never want that problem again because it really hurts. Having this problem led me to also do exercises to strengthen my hips and glutes. Now, I feel so solid when I'm out there and my knees are stronger than they have ever been.
I didn't notice a difference regarding when to use. The moment I started rolling my IT band I noticed relief so I don't think it matters when you do it. It does seem logical to roll later in the day when your body is warmer, and therefore more flexible. That said, just doing it, no matter when has worked for me.
Warm. Best after you've shaken off the effects of your workout, while the muscles are still warm and need to be "flushed" out. Similar to how I do self-massage of the leg muscles with soap and water during a shower, after my morning workout. As Kevorkazito says, in the evening before bed is not a bad idea, either. May help you sleep.
Two words of caution: (1) Do not overdo it, and (2) always roll the upper or lower limbs with pressure toward the heart, to cooperate with venous and lymphatic flow. Otherwise, risk damage to the valves in these vessels of the limbs.