I cannot say enough about foam rolling. No matter if you work out or not, foam rolling is essential to maintain your body’s functionality.
For those of you who are unfamiliar to foam rolling and are asking yourselves what the heck it is, I will explain to the best of my ability. It’s a foam cylinder that you roll on; it’s the poor man’s massage therapist. There is it, described at its finest!
In all seriousness, when you roll your body weight onto a foam roller, you basically induce self-myofascial release technique. This simple piece of dense foam, can greatly improve your body’s flexibility, function and performance. When you roll onto the foam roller, you massage all muscular restrictions back to the normal soft tissue the way it is meant to be. And the best part of it all is that this can be done in the privacy of your home, no need for gym!
On to the science-y part of foam rolling…
Myofascia is the combination of muscle and fascia. The superficial fascia is the soft connective tissue that is right under the skin and is what connects and/or wraps the muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels all together. And with age, lack of use or injuries, the muscle tissue can get ‘stuck’ causing much pain/discomfort and soreness. This affects your flexibility and range of motion. When you roll against a foam roller, you roll out any muscle knots by applying direct pressure (body weight) on to them—kind of rolling out the lumps in dough. It may be a little painful at first, so ease into it.
Myofascia Release Technique with a foam roller can, among many, help with:
- Improve range of motion
- Release stress
- Reduce soreness
- Prevent injuries
- Aid healing
When I had an ankle injury from playing indoor soccer, my chiropractor had me roll on the affected area for two minutes, twice a day. Doing so massaged the tensed muscles and allowed blood flow into the injury which helped speed up the healing process. Not only that, but I also went through a period of severe shin splints from sprinting—so bad that it would keep me up at night!. And guess that my chiropractor suggested…that’s right, foam rolling my calves! So you see my point, foam rolling can only benefit you.
Oh and did I mention they’re usually under $20 online? I bought mine off of amazon, but you can find them in most sporting goods.
Spend just a few minutes a day Foam Rolling to feel the difference! Click here for a list of foam rolling exercises.
Here are some key points for Foam Rolling:
- Roll back and forth across the painful or stiff area for 60-90 seconds.
- Roll the injured area at least 2 times a day.
- Roll everyday if possible.
- Avoid rolling over bony areas.
- Breath-exhale and inhale to manage discomfort.
- Drink tons of water after foam rolling.