It seems like more people are using foam rollers with their workouts than ever before, but is there really any benefit to adding this to your fitness routine?
Supposedly, using a foam roller will benefit your entire body, if used correctly. Foam rollers can be used to target various problem areas in your body and can be worked into just about any kind of fitness routine.
There are a few benefits I want to point out, and I think once you read through these, you’ll see the value in foam rolling for yourself. If you’re not using a foam roller already as part of your workout routine, you may want to after you’ve taken a look at some of the benefits. I think it will become obvious why soft tissue therapy through foam rolling is so popular right now.
I do want to give a quick overview of foam rolling, though. This may be something you’re not very familiar with. What is foam rolling exactly?
Foam rolling is called self-myofascial release, and it’s a type of self-massage. The foam cylinder works with your body weight to add a little pressure to your muscles. You use the foam roller in small, controlled movements, going through a repetition of actions that puts pressure where it’s needed.
What this does is release some of the pressure out of the fascia or that tissue in your body that houses the muscle. It helps to get rid of knots in this tissue and improves body alignment.
Now, let’s look at some of the benefits of using a foam roller.
Do Foam Rollers Increase Flexibility
There’s a balance you may want to make between strength and flexibility in your body. Some people want to be stronger and others want to be more flexible, and it may seem like it’s tough to achieve both.
However, using the foam roller can boost your flexibility the same way doing stretches would. At the same time, you’re not losing the strength to achieve the flexibility.
That’s a great benefit that can really make foam rolling an excellent addition to your workout routine because it can offer advantages like this that you might not get elsewhere.
It loosens up your muscles to reduce friction and allow for smoother, more controlled movements.
If you’re able to stretch your muscles out with the foam roller properly, you can enjoy a greater range of motion and your workout will be more effective.
You’ll get more out of your workouts, boosting your gains over time. This is just one of the great benefits of using a foam roller to stretch.
How To Use a Foam Roller For Muscle Recovery
One common problem that people deal with when they work out a lot is that they have to recover from their workouts. Muscle building exercises can leave your muscles feeling sore and in need of recovery.
Foam rolling can provide therapy for injured, tired muscles. It can help to avoid muscle injuries and ensure that your muscles recover quickly. As the foam roller puts pressure on muscle tissue, it helps to get rid of the pain.
As I mentioned, using the foam roller is similar to a massage, and it’s great for people who lift weights, run, or who constantly stretch their muscles out.
If you have problems with tight fascia or you need shin splints, or there are other muscle recovery issues you’re dealing with, you can target those problems using the foam roller. Your personal trainer can help you identify those places on the body that may need some self-massage as well.
The foam roller is most effective when you know where to target and you work those areas regularly with the roller. That kind of treatment can make a big difference in how long it takes you to recover and how you feel the next day following a workout.
If you use the foam roller shortly after your workout, you should feel great the next day and ready for your next workout.
Can You Use a Foam Roller For Massaging
One of the most common reasons people use foam rollers is to massage themselves. This makes for an excellent self-massage tool, and physical therapy specialists will advise people to get massages regularly if they work out.
This helpful tool can allow you to skip spa treatments and avoid all those costs that come with them. Instead, you can use the foam roller to provide your own massage and target those areas that need tension relief and therapy.
It helps with muscle soreness, muscle recovery, tension headaches and other problems related to regular exercise and overexertion.
Does a Foam Roller Improve Fitness
Using the foam roller regularly can also help to lower your risk of injury. There are a long list of benefits that regular use of the foam roller can provide, including and improved range of motion, smoother muscle motion, shorter recovery periods, and a lower risk of injury .
When you put all these benefits together, what you get is the ability to become fit faster. You can get better results in a shorter amount of time and achieve those fitness goals quickly.
There have actually been studies performed that showed athletes who exercised in conjunction with using the foam roller didn’t need to put as much effort into the exercise to do it.
How Does a Foam Roller Help Your Posture
The foam roller can be a great way to loosen up muscles that have knotted. That can be helpful for people who have bad posture, like those perhaps who slump or slouch regularly.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and you spend a lot of time sitting down, you may end up with a slouched posture or simply poor posture overall. Sitting for a lot of your day can cause muscle knotting. The foam roller is a great way to loosen those muscles, getting rid of the knots and improving blood circulation.
The foam roller can be used on your spine or other areas where muscles are not together. It can help straighten out muscles that have become rounded over time, loosening tightened muscles.
When Should You Use a Foam Roller
As you can see, there’s quite a few benefits to using the foam roller, and it’s understandable why so many athletes want to make foam rolling part of their fitness routine.
There are a lot of different ways you can use foam rollers, and the benefits I’ve covered here are just some of the ones this tool offers. It’s helpful to know when to use the foam roller, preparing your muscles before workout to loosen them up and then using the foam roller after workouts to help with muscle soreness and muscle recovery.
This is great piece of workout equipment that you’ll use often. Because it’s so valuable, it’s well worth the cost and worthwhile to add to your collection of essential workout tools.
I would recommend the foam roller for anyone who works out regularly, particularly for anyone who suffers from muscle soreness, muscle cramps, long muscle recovery times, poor posture, or other muscle issues.
The way the foam roller can be used to treat the connective tissue and housing tissue of the muscles is incredibly vital for anyone who will be working out over a long period of time.
If you’re using the foam roller correctly, you should be able to work out more often, it should be easier for you to work out, and it should be simpler to reach your goals for physical fitness and overall health.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://awellnessbody.com.