Foam rolling: explanation, techniques, and benefits
A foam roller can be your best friend. Is yours stashed in a closet or sitting somewhere gathering dust? Get it out! If you don’t have one, visit our friends and partners at Fleet Feet Austin. They’ll get you set up with what you need! Whether you’re training for an upcoming triathlon or exercising to stay in shape, proper foam rolling has many benefits. It can help you relax, prevent injury, and speed up your recovery. We’ll explain what foam rolling is, breakdown effective techniques, and highlight various benefits.
What is foam rolling?
It is an SMR (self-myofascial release) technique that is designed to help you relieve muscle pain. Foam rolling is an excellent form of warming-up or cooling-down after swimming, cycling, or running. You should schedule a massage as needed and let a professional work out the kinks. But for all the in-between time, you should foam roll at home. It’s easy and can take less than 10 minutes.
Foam rolling is an excellent way for athletes to recover after low- or high-intensity workouts. The best part? It’s very easy to do too! Here are a few foam rolling technique explanations to get you started. For more, refer to our handy downloadable PDF.
- Lay down on the foam roller and gently put your leg on it; gradually use your bodyweight to regulate the pressure.
- When you find a painful spot, hold the foam roll right there for a few seconds; gradually apply pressure for 10-20 seconds; continue moving up & down slowly.
- Repeat the same process with all muscle groups, especially those most involved with the workout
Helps with muscle repair recovery
Provides sore muscles with relief by breaking up lactic acid and increasing the flow of fresh blood to the muscles. It also helps reduce muscle inflammation. According to this study, 20 men foam rolled after a high-intensity workout. These participants reported a decrease in delayed onset muscle soreness. Not only that, but later on they performed better during an exercise than those who didn’t foam roll. Pro tip: proper hydration can also help with blood circulation. Learn about the different ways to carry hydration during your run.
This is the most prominent benefit of foam rolling. A majority of athletes find it to be helpful in relaxing. How? It breaks down the tightness of the muscles, reduces inflammation, and even reduces stress. When your body feels good and your muscles aren’t sore you can concentrate better during the day and sleep better at night. Taking the time to foam will is even more beneficial after a brick workout, when you’re asking more of your body.
- Relieves back pain
- Improves flexibility
- Increases range of motion
- Reduces cellulite appearance
Foam rolling is the simplest choice to recover from sore muscles or to even relieve back pain. The best part?! It doesn’t take long and can help you recover faster before your next workout. However, we advise that you always be careful while performing this action. Don’t continue to roll an area if you experience sharp or prolonged pain. Consult with your doctor if needed.