Openfit Foam Rolling Classes: What to Expect
Foam rolling seems straightforward, but you may be wondering how to get the most out of it. Which muscles should you focus on? How much time do you have to spend foam rolling in order for it to be effective? Do you just roll around, or is there more to it?
Most of us could benefit from a little instruction, which is what makes Openfit Live foam rolling classes so useful. Each class is led by a qualified instructor who walks you through an intentional sequence of movements designed to help ease tightness and improve mobility.
To get a sense of what to expect during an Openfit Live foam rolling class, we caught up with Openfit Live Trainer Mary Beth Rockwell. Here’s what she had to say.
What Kind of Workout Is a Foam Rolling Class on Openfit?
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release. This self-administered massage technique uses pressure to alleviate tension and tissue adhesions or “knots” in muscles and fascia (the connective tissue that envelops muscles).
“Although there’s a bit of a learning curve to it, a foam rolling class can show you how to do it safely and effectively and help you feel like a brand new person,” Rockwell says.
“It can help work out knots or ‘trigger points’ in your muscles, alleviate post-workout muscle soreness, speed muscle repair, increase blood flow, and help with mobility,” Rockwell adds. “And once you figure out your foam rolling ‘sweet spots,’ it can really help you relax and unwind.”
What Kinds of Moves Will I Do in an Openfit Foam Rolling Class?
During an Openfit foam rolling class, the instructor will guide you through the nuances of effective foam rolling. “One may think that it just consists of rolling up and down the body like you’re pie dough, but a couple of other techniques can help too,” Rockwell says.
“For example, once you find a trigger point, try holding still and applying localized, gentle pressure right there, breathing deeply as you do so,” she adds. “It takes the brain about 30 seconds to signal the muscle to relax, so it’s important to take your time. We also sometimes use cross-friction — a bit of a horizontal wiggle — to work out tightness.”
Most Openfit foam rolling classes target the whole body. However, you may find that certain areas need foam rolling more than others.
“Some of my favorite spots to roll are the fronts of the shoulders, which tense up when we slouch; the lats; and the quads and hip flexors — a must if you sit a lot,” Rockwell says.
I’ve Never Done This Kind of Workout Before — Can I Still Sign Up?
As with any new form of exercise, check with your doctor before trying foam rolling. Once you have clearance, a foam rolling class is a perfect way to learn how to use a foam roller safely and effectively.
“Foam rolling can take some getting used to at first,” Rockwell says. “It can be a bit uncomfortable — even borderline painful to some — but ideally in a ‘hurts so good’ kind of way.”
Rockwell recommends starting out with a softer foam roller — “one that has a bit of give to it if you squeeze it, so the pressure isn’t super-intense,” she says. Once you’ve grown accustomed to the sensation of foam rolling, you can graduate to a firmer foam roller for a deeper massage.
Rockwell notes that foam rolling isn’t appropriate for all body parts, specifically the lower back and chest. All Openfit instructors purposely skip these areas in order to protect the heart, liver, kidneys, and lower vertebrae.
And don’t forget to breathe! “The number one tip I give to beginner foam rollers is to remember to breathe and relax as much as possible,” Rockwell says. “Avoid holding your breath or tensing up. Let the oxygen flow freely throughout your body.”
Do I Need Equipment for This Class?
You’ll need a foam roller to participate in a foam rolling class. Foam rollers are widely available — you’ll find them in sporting goods stores, big-box retailers, online, and even drug stores.
Any foam roller will work, but here are a few popular options:
Best for beginners: PRO-ROLLER Soft Low-Density Foam Roller
This foam roller is lightly cushioned, making it ideal for beginners and those who find foam rolling uncomfortable.
Best for experienced foam rollers: TriggerPoint GRID X Foam Roller
This extra-firm foam roller offers more resistance and is designed to dig into tight spots.
Best budget option: LuxFit High-Density Foam Roller
This standard, no-frills foam roller gets the job done without breaking the bank.
Best deluxe option: TriggerPoint GRID VIBE PLUS
Use this foam roller to simply roll, or flip on the four-frequency vibrating feature for a massage-like experience.
How Do I Sign Up?
Once you’ve downloaded and signed up for the Openfit app, go to the Live Class Schedule screen and search for foam rolling classes on the calendar. When you find the one you want, click “Book a Spot” and it will be added to your Openfit Live schedule. You’ll receive a text reminder 15 minutes prior to the start of class.
Foam Rolling Classes Available on Openfit
Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive active recovery option or you’ve only got a few minutes to loosen up, there’s an Openfit foam rolling class for you. Here are just a few of your options.
- Foam Roll: Total Body (Live and On Demand): Quick and effective! This 11-minute class will get into all your tight spots and leave you feeling refreshed.
- Full Body Foam Rolling II (On Demand): A combination of foam rolling and deep stretching, this class is guaranteed to be the most relaxing 15 minutes of your day.
- Tension Relief Foam Rolling (Live and On Demand): This 15-minute class covers simple, easy-to-master techniques to help you dissolve tense spots.
- Core and Full Body Foam Roll (Live and On Demand): In this 25-minute class, you’ll start with a full-body foam roll before transitioning into a challenging core workout.
Find even more foam rolling classes under “Stretching” on Openfit!