Foam rolling is great for releasing knotted-up tissue for better blood flow and to ease pain. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than massage therapy.

But if you’re rolling incorrectly, you’re just wasting time. So we recruited the developer of the Rumble Roller (, Ron Johnson, to correct common foam-rolling mistakes.

1. You roll too fast

“You’re not flattening out pizza dough,” Johnson says. “You’re attempting to cause neurological changes in a muscle, and that doesn’t happen immediately.” Found a tender spot? Hang out on it for 20 seconds or more, then roll very slowly until you find the next spot.

2. You roll at the gym

Contrary to popular belief, the gym should be reserved for training only. Johnson says. “Do your hard work in the gym, then use your foam roller later at home during your downtime. Foam rolling isn’t a workout, nor is it an effective warmup. It’s physical therapy.”

3. You flex the muscle

“Focus on relaxing the muscle, which lets the roller sink in and reach depper fibers, ” Johnson says. “Dont be overly concerned with your body poistion or form. Your body isn’t under load, so alignment isn’t critical.” Drape your body across the roller in whatever way best hits the spot, relax and let the roller do the work.

4. You ignore the ends of the muscle

“To get the most benefit from foam rolling, you need to work the muscle close to its insertion points,” Johnson says. “These areas are much easier to reach with a bumpy roller than with a smooth roller.”

5. You use only one type of roller

If you can’t hang out on a tender spot while keeping the muscle relaxed, you’re probably using a roller that’s too firm. Johnson reccommends taking the intesity down a notch. “There’s no shame in using a softer roller or different rollers and massage tools for different body parts,” he says. “Most foam rollers cost less than a single session with a massage therapist, so you can probably afford to own more than one.