It’s the hottest gym accessory around, but what exactly are the benefits of foam rolling
You’ve definitely seen somebody use a foam roller in the gym. You possible have a foam roller at home but don’t know how to use it. Or maybe you’re a foam rolling pro. Wherever you are on your foam rolling journey we’re here to share the benefits.
Ease muscle pain
The reason you see people using foam rollers after working out is because it helps reduce pain through myofascial release , which is basically using low-intensity forces to soft tissues over a long period of time. Essentially, the purpose is to allow contracted muscles to relax, which improves blood flow and nutrient flow to the area. The effect is that muscles operate with smoother motion because of reduced internal rubbing.Foam rolling before a workout as part of a dynamic warm-up is especially effective for myofascial release. Sounds good!
Increase range of motion
It stands to reason that if your muscles are looser and more hydrated they’ll move a little better, doesn’t it? So if you foam roll and have healthy mucles, they’ll work better as you use them, be it during a workout or everyday activity. There’s also the reasoning that because the movements are smoother, muscles are less likely to be pulled or damaged.
Another related advantage to self-massage is the improved range of motion of properly stretched and lubricated muscles. A larger range of motion means that more muscle will be used while working out, leading to a better use of time. Better range of motion indicates more flexibility.
Read more: Philly McMahon’s recovery tips
Relieve back pain
Foam rolling can be a great way to reduce back pain, but it’s important that you take extra care when foam rolling along the spine.
To use your foam roller for lower back pain, turn your foam roller so it’s vertical (in-line with your spine) and slowly roll the roller from side to side, still in line with your spine. It’s important the roller isn’t horizontal as at that angle your back may twist and strain.
If you can’t get the hang of it, try using a foam massage ball or a tennis ball to work out knots in the back.
Help you relax
Relaxation is more of an ancedotal benefit and something many people have reported. The logic is there, after all breaking up tightness in your muscles should have the same effect as getting a massage, which is helping the muscles to relax.
Read more: Preparation and recovery