If you get bruises after foam rolling, this could be the reason.

According to Shape, if you feel bad after riding with foam, you’re probably riding too hard or too long. As a general rule, you should only walk over a particularly tight spot for about 30 to 60 seconds. Although the pressure is really up to your tolerance, there should be a loose feeling after riding. Foam rolling can be painful when you’re at a tender point, but you should feel relaxed afterwards, according to Sports Injury Physio. Rolling too hard can be counterproductive to your efforts, as muscles can react with more tension or bruising (via Shape). On a pain scale of 10, hold pressure at five (via Self).

It’s also best to start with points along muscles or tissues that are less painful (via Self). This encourages the soft tissues to relax before hitting that hard point. Start with long, easy strokes along the entire muscle for about two minutes, then work your way to the tender area for 30 seconds, according to Sports Injury Physio. According to the National Association of Sports Medicine, it’s also helpful to do static or dynamic stretching afterward, as you’ll get more elongation of muscle tissue. You can also roll foam during your practice cooldown.

Lee J. Murillo