Have you ever tried the Peloton foam rolling classes? Honestly, before I got the Peloton, I’d never even heard about foam rolling or body rolling or knew what a foam roller was. However, once I bought one and tried a class, I was hooked.
Simply put when you use a foam roller, you are giving yourself a DIY massage of your sore, knotty muscles. It’s called myofascial release.
Here is how the Mayo Clinic describes what myofascial release is:
“Myofascial (my-o-FASH-e-ul) release is a manual therapy technique often used in massage. The technique focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues — the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles… The focused manual pressure and stretching used in myofascial release therapy loosen up restricted movement, leading indirectly to reduced pain.”
How foam rolling helps with tight muscles
As explained above foam rolling is basically a way for you to do self-myofascial release. You don’t have to pay a massage therapist to do it for you.
The foam roller helps to loosen tight muscles by going over them again and again. Think of it like kneading dough. The longer you work on the dough, the more pliable it becomes.
In addition, when you’re using a foam roller to do myofascial release, you might find sticky, crunchy or knotty spots. Then, you can stop and really concentrate on loosening them up.
Foam rolling hurts so good
I’ll admit that it hurts like hell when you’re using a foam roller. But in a good way. Like that old song that says “It hurts so good,” it’s the truth with foam rolling.
You’ll feel so much better when you use your foam roller regularly in conjunction with Peloton classes. The foam roller may just be one of the best Peloton bike accessories you could own and, overall, one of the most important of pieces in your home workout equipment essentials.
Where can I find foam rolling classes on Peloton
Finding the foam rolling classes on Peloton is a bit tricky. First, the only place you can search for these classes is using the search function on the bike or Tread. Second, if you’re not using Peloton hardware but instead are a digital app user, you don’t have the search function.
So, where does foam rolling fit in the Peloton class niche? Well, you’ll find it under stretching.
Sadly, with the latest purge, Peloton got rid of a bunch of foam rolling classes. There used to be a lot more of them.
Who teaches foam-rolling classes on Peloton
Right now there are only two Peloton instructors that have foam-rolling classes. They are:
- Hannah Corbin
- Matt Wilpers
Matt Wilpers used to have more foam rolling classes available on demand. Now he has just one. That’s too bad because he’s a big proponent of using the foam roller. He talks about it all the time in Power Zone classes as a way he deals with sore muscles.
What are the kinds foam rolling classes I can find on Peloton
As I mentioned there used to be many more foam rolling classes. Now there are just seven. All are 10-minutes long.
Matt teaches one and Hannah Corbin teaches the other six.
The majority of foam rolling classes focus on specific body parts. These include:
Two of the classes are just called “Foam Rolling.” They cover a lot of territory in not a lot of time.
Truth is most cyclists and runners can get the benefits of foam rolling by focusing on their lower body–glutes, calves, and quads. So, that’s why most of the foam roller classes you’ll find under stretching classes are working out your lower body.
How to use a foam roller for hips
If you have tight hips like I do, I would recommend taking a foam roller classes that focuses on glutes. With the ones I’ve taken with Hannah Corbin, she focuses on the sides of your glutes, which basically includes your hips. Tight glutes wrap around to make for tight hips.
Also, Hannah has a class that is listed as a 10-minute full body stretching class. However, when you see it, you’ll notice she’s using a foam roller as a prop.
Stretching and foam rolling
I took that class today, and it was like a mix of restorative yoga and foam roller stretching. One of the stretches was targeted to your hip flexors.
During it she had us laying down on the foam roller, which was perpendicular to our glutes. Then, you pulled one knee up to you while the other leg was straight. After that, we tightened and loosened our glute muscle. And let me tell you–I could feel my hip flexors opening up beautifully. I felt so much looser after class.
What do you need for a foam rolling class
Obviously, you need a foam roller. But what kind of foam roller?
There are smooth foam rollers, and there are bumpy foam rollers. There are shorter foam rollers, and there are longer foam rollers.
I have a shorter, smooth foam roller from Gaiam. It is 18-inches long. However, the Peloton instructors leading foam-rolling classes are all using a long foam roller. In fact, in a foam rolling class I just took today with Hannah Corbin, she offered a modification for people like me using the shorter foam roller.
On the other hand, while the modification worked, I’m thinking it might be time to buy a second foam roller. This time around I’m going to go with a longer one. It covers more of your body when you’re working with it parallel to your body. I understand that longer foam rollers are better for working on your back muscles.
You can also try therapy balls
In addition to my foam roller, I have something called therapy balls. I talked about them in my best Peloton accessories post.
These are cork balls that instructor Christine D’Ercole first introduced me to using. These work in a more intense way for myofascial release on your muscles. However, they get really deep in there and can help work out knots faster than just the foam roller.
Before I got these cork therapy balls, I would use a softball or tennis ball to roll out knots. Primarily, I would be rolling my glutes on either the tennis ball or the softball. In a pinch you can use those as your DIY therapy balls.
Other foam rolling classes to try
Like I said there used to be a lot more foam rolling classes on the Peloton platform. Sadly, now there are only seven. So, you may want to supplement your exercise classes with another company or service.
First, you can look on YouTube. Second, some foam rollers comes with instructions so you can try a DIY foam roller class that way. Third, you can sign up for another fitness service.
Foam rolling classes on Obe Fitness
I plan on checking out Obe Fitness, which offers live and on-demand classes just like Peloton does. These classes range from strength and sculpt to Pilates and power. All of the classes can be done at home with very little equipment.
I was super pleased to see a handful of foam rolling classes on Obe Fitness, too. In fact, “foam roll” is one of the class type choices on the Obe Fitness filter–so much easier than finding them on Peloton, to be honest.
Like Peloton these foam-rolling classes are 10 minutes long and focus on various body parts. However, there were way more full-body foam rolling options. Plus, two classes using therapy balls, which they call a massage ball.
What to expect from a foam rolling class
If you decided to take one of Peloton’s foam rolling classes, here’s what you should not expect. Don’t expect to burn a lot of calories. Foam rolling or body rolling classes are not about burning calories. They are about stretching and rolling our your sore muscles.
Calories burned aside, here is what you can expect: being on the ground and going back and forth, over and over the same spot on your body.
You may also find that the foam roller moves as you’re using it, which I find particularly frustrating. Usually, about halfway through class I’ve noticed that I’ve moved across the room. So I have to pick up my foam roller and go back to where I started on the floor. If only someone could invent something that keeps a foam roller in one place while using it–that person would be a genius and a millionaire!
Where can you find a foam roller to buy
Nearly every sporting goods store sells foam rollers. So do online outlets like Amazon and Target. Mostly, though, I’ve seen the shorter foam rollers like the Gaiam one I have. Gaiam’s website sells them, too.
If you’re interested in buying a longer foam roller like I am, you’ll want to go with one that is either 24 inches or 36 inches long. From what I’ve read, the three-foot foam rollers works better for rolling out your back. I guess it all depends on how tall you are.
Foam rollers on Amazon
I found foam rollers of various lengths on Amazon, which I’ve linked to below. With the smooth ones, you can choose from four lengths and handful of different colors. In addition, I’ve included foam rollers with bumps and nubs on them. Finally, I’ve included foam rollers of different densities.
Final thoughts on foam rolling
Experts say that when you start doing foam-rolling classes, you should begin by using a softer density foam roller. Then, when your muscles get used to foam rolling, you can transition to a harder, higher density foam rolling.
On the other hand, the high-density foam rollers last longer. So if you were looking to save money, I’d just buy the high density one and be done with it. Then you can use that foam roller for years for any foam rolling classes you decide to take.