Foam Rolling For Recovery And Prevention
Have you seen people at the gym rolling around on the floor with a foam log and wondered what on earth they are doing?
Originally used by athletes, foam rolling has become mainstream and is one of the best and least expensive ways to boost your workout results.
A foam roller is essentially a tool that you can use to give yourself a deep tissue massage.
Also known as self-myofascial release, pressure is applied to the fascia (connective tissue surrounding the muscles) to release tension and help your body to recover.
You can use it before, during or after your workout or even on its own in a dedicated recovery session.
The benefits are extensive but here are the top four reasons why you should use a foam roller.
1. Improves Recovery
During exercise, lactic acid builds up in your body causing your muscles to become sore, tight and fatigued.
Foam rolling increases blood circulation and the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your cells so that your body can more effectively remove lactic acid and repair damaged muscle tissue faster.
Your lymphatic system is also stimulated allowing toxins to be more effectively filtered out of your body, reducing how sore your muscles are after a tough workout.
If sore muscles often make you miss a training day, try foam rolling after your workout to boost your recovery and keep you on track to achieving your goals.
2. Improves Flexibility
Research has shown that by releasing tension and helping to break up scar tissue in muscles, self-myofascial release is a great way to improve your flexibility.
Flexibility is vitally important at any age and will improve athletic performance, make everyday tasks easier and allow you to maintain good posture.
Like most people if you find it hard to make time for stretching, do some foam rolling while you watch TV to lengthen your muscles and improve your range of motion.
3. Helps To Prevent And Treat Injuries
Many exercise related injuries happen as a result of tight muscles and overuse.
Prevention is much easier than treatment and the foam roller is a great way to release tension, correct muscle imbalances and speed up the healing process to reduce the chance of getting injured in the first place.
Use the foam roller before exercise to gently warm your body up as well as after your workout to lengthen out your muscles and prevent tightness that can cause tears.
Foam rolling can also be a useful tool to help reduce back pain and treat injuries such as shin splints and ITB syndrome.
By being able to feel exactly where the pain is located and determine the amount of pressure yourself, you can control your own healing and recovery process.
Always consult your specialist or physiotherapist before using self-myofascial release to treat injuries.
When done incorrectly foam rolling can potentially cause issues so take the time to learn how to use your foam roller and which exercises are best for you.
4. It’s Just Relaxing!
‘Having’ to do some foam rolling is a great excuse to take time out and treat yourself!
You don’t need to find someone to give you a massage and it is much less expensive than paying for one.
Exercise places stress on the body and following a strenuous workout, foam rolling has been shown to reduce cortisol levels helping you to recover faster, leaving you feeling great!
It is also an ideal way to get rid of everyday tension, release knots and de-stress after a long day.
Grab a foam roller and give it a go today!