A foam roller hardly looks like a “miraculous tool of wellness”. But ask doctors and experts, and they’ll tell you that we should all be doing foam rolling – every day.
1. Foam rolling gives you a deep tissue massage that reduces inflammation and joint stress
The kind of massage you get with a foam roller is termed myofascial release:
- Fascia is the tissue that covers every muscle, organ and nerve (think about the shrink wrap covering stationery), keeping everything together. When you train, the fascia in your body can become tight, or can sustain micro tears. If you don’t release the tightness (or heal the tears), your muscle/joint mobility will be compromised. This not only affects your performance but it could invite futher (more serious) injuries.
- Myofascial release is when these fascia are massaged and they soften and “release” the tension, restoring mobility, encouraging healing. This sort of deep tissue massage is ideal for managing inflammation and joint pain.
2. Foam rolling promotes healthy circulation
The massage you get when you use a foam roller improves your circulation. In part, this is because the myofascial release you get with the roller releases the areas where tightness has restricted your blood flow.
And as you probably know, blood is the conduit by which oxygen and nutrients are transported throughout your body. It also facilitates the removal of toxins and other by-products from your bloodstream. So having a healthy circulation is critical for overall good health.
3. Foam rolling accelerates your post-workout recovery
All of this – the improved mobility and the improved circulation – means that when you use a foam roller, you recover quicker from a tough workout. After all, it treats the inflammation and any aches, and also promotes the flow of blood to tired muscles. In fact, many of the foam roller’s proponents will tell you that using a foam roller for just 10 minutes before a workout (to loosen up major muscles and joints) primes you for a more effective workout too.
4. Foam rolling improves your flexibility
When your muscles, soft tissue and joints are not tight or sore, you enjoy a greater range of motion. And greater flexibility too. This, in turn, means you can work harder, with a lesser risk of injury.
You don’t need any more reasons to invest in a foam roller, and get rolling! But there is one caveat: Do it wrong, and you could cause the injuries you’d like to avoid! Do your homework first. Investigate which roller movements, stretches and techniques are best for your body so you can get the most out of this incredible tool.
Using a foam roller is a must-add to any workout. On our Personal Training Diploma, you’ll learn all that you need to in order to become a world-class personal trainer and instruct your clients in developing the workouts that are best for them. Follow this link to find out more.