foam rollerFrequently we’re bombarded with headlines on social media like ‘the one thing fitness pros wish you’d stop doing’, quite frankly the one thing I wish would stop is those headlines! Despite this every now and then I get lured into reading whatever pearls of wisdom someone has decided to share – sometimes they’re actually quite good other times not so much, but that’ll be my opinion based on my own understanding and learning. To quote ‘the one thing fitness pros wish you’d stop doing’ is to assume we all agree & think the same – we don’t!

The science behind exercise is exactly that and as with any other science involves research which either supports or refutes the hypothesis proposed, often with conflicting results which can seem to leave us no further forward in understanding. My knowledge and understanding will be based on the research that I have found and engaged with and may be entirely different to the next person who has found and read something different (there are not enough hours in the day to read it all!)

Any way back on track: a particular article I read with one of ‘those headlines’ was about foam rolling the IT band (ITB), it explained that foam rolling should be performed slowly (agree for the most part), that the ITB is not a muscle but connective tissue that acts as an attachment for other muscles and doesn’t respond to foam rolling in the same way as muscle (I’ll agree there), and suggested not to foam roll the ITB at all (going to disagree with that).

It then suggested instead to foam roll around the areas of hamstrings, quads and glute. med. (sounds good to me); I have to say however that I was expecting mention somewhere in the article of a hip flexor called the tensor fascia latae (TFL) which happens to be the muscle where the ITB attaches, I can only assume it was left out as often hip flexors will be tight rather than shortened and potentially may require stretching rather than rolling, though I guess there are probably few ‘fitness pros’ who wish you’d stop stretching.

So if you also read that particular article and your ITB’s an issue don’t forget your TFL.


Health and Fitness exercise tip by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

Foam roller image source by NPR.org