A foam roller is perhaps one of the most versatile, yet humble pieces of exercise equipment. Overall, they are simply designed and affordable. Some experts even go so far as to recommend that every person should own a foam roller because they offer so many benefits. Foam rollers are steadily becoming more popular in the fitness world and many gyms offer them as a regular piece of equipment available to patrons. In this article, we will outline all the benefits of using a foam roller.
Foam rolling aids in massaging the muscles
Foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, is becoming more popular because of its many benefits. A practice once only used by coaches, professional athletes and therapists, it is becoming more familiar to people at any fitness level. Self-myofascial release is a term commonly used for foam rolling when a foam roller is used to release trigger points or knots in muscles. When pressure is applied to certain points on the body, it helps muscles aid in recovery and assists them with returning to optimal function. It keeps muscles, healthy and elastic.
When tightness or knots are formed in the muscles, they can be painful to the touch. When a foam roller is used on knots or tight muscles, the user should experience pain. It should be a pain similar to stretching, but not an excruciating pain. This pain is also experienced with deep tissue massage. Unlike getting a massage from a masseuse, users with foam rollers can control the area and the intensity of the massage. When knots and trigger points are released, normal muscle movement can return which, in turn, enhances health and performance. Also, when the knots are released, normal blood flow returns increasing circulation and overall health. Fibrous tissue is broken down, releasing tension and pain.
Massage, like regular foam rolling use, can also help to relieve stress. Releasing and removing knots that are caused by built up tension and stress can help you feel more relaxed.
Foam rolling helps to prevent injuries
One of the most important reasons to use a foam roller on a regular basis is to prevent injuries. Runners often have problems with the IT band. Massage is one important treatment of this band of tissue. Muscles that are tired and overworked can lead to IT band syndrome and other injuries. Using a foam roller on a daily basis can prevent fascia buildup in muscles and prevent injury trigger points. Another element to preventing injuries is staying flexible. Foam rolling can help muscles stay soft and flexible, making you feel better.
Foam rollers are cheap, portable and save time
Compared to the cost of hiring a masseuse, a foam roller is very affordable. With this simple piece of equipment, you can get similar or better results than having a sports massage. Sports massages can range in price from $60-$80 a session to hundreds of dollars. Massages in luxury spas run at a similar price. Plus, you will save the time and hassle of setting the appointment and going to get the massage.
Because of its simple design, foam rollers are incredibly low maintenance. Depending on the density of foam roller you use, you can use the roller for awhile before the foam wears out and a new one is needed. It is also incredibly easy to store out of sight, unlike other types of exercise equipment like weights. Smaller foam rollers are easy to take to the gym or travel with you anywhere. Some foam rollers are even as small as six inches long, which makes them incredibly easy to store in a suitcase.
Foam rollers can improve exercise and overall strength
Many athletes use foam rollers to improve strength and balance. But getting this type of benefit from foam rollers doesn’t have to be restricted to athletes only. Many people can benefit from adding roam rolling to their exercise routine.
Runners use foam rollers on their legs to reduce fatigue during training. On the leg, you will want to use the foam roller on quadriceps and hamstrings. Using a foam roller on these large muscles will loosen muscles and help prevent injury.
Using a foam roller on your back will help remove knots in the muscles while correcting and improving posture. Focus on the area of the upper back for the best results. While rolling, roll slowly. When a painful area is found, slow down and allow the roller to release the knot in your back.
Anyone who exercises can use a foam roller for relief. Even someone who practices yoga, one of the most relaxing forms of exercise, can benefit from adding a rolling session after they practice. It is beneficial for those practicing pilates as well.
Is buying a foam roller worth it?
Ultimately, this is a personal decision. It is recommended to talk to a doctor before trying any workout regimen. Many people find that the many benefits of using a foam roller are worth the small cost they pay for the piece of equipment. The learning curve of using the foam roller is small, making it an easy stress relief for people of all ages. Because they are low maintenance, they are the perfect exercise equipment for many people looking for an easy addition to their routine. If you are looking for a way to relieve your muscles, prevent injury and make yourself stronger, give foam rolling a try.