Ok so you’ve probably seen others at the gym laying on a cylinder of foam and rolling around – pretty much looking like they’re messing around or trying to avoid their workout. But actually, we all should be foam rolling before starting a workout.
Before listing all of the benefits, it’s probably important to understand what foam rolling actually is…besides a way of procrastinating at the gym.
Foam rolling is like having a deep tissue massage that you control. When we foam roll, we are releasing muscle knots and tightness, relaxing our muscles. Scientifically foam rolling is known as self-myofascial release.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – but why should we foam roll?
- It improves performance
Foam rolling allows us to release trigger points in our muscles. This helps to re-establish proper muscles movement patterns which enhances performance.
- It helps heal our muscles
By applying pressure to specific muscle points, foam rolling aids in the recovery of our muscles, returning them to normal function – i.e. our muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.
- It helps restore healthy tissue
The deep compression of foam rolling helps normal blood flow to return to our muscles and help restore healthy tissue.
- It improves mobility
In perfect health, our muscles should be soft and supple like a baby’s, however, if we don’t take care of our muscles properly we can experience loss of flexibility, adhesions, and painful movement. Deep compression from foam rolling helps to relax tight muscles and break up any adhesions formed between their layers, ultimately improving flexibility and mobility.
In a nutshell, you use your body weight to roll on the foam roller to massage away muscle tightness, knots and tension and improve blood flow to heighten performance.