Foam Roll into 2021!
FOAM ROLLING - What is it and should I be doing it?
If you have seen one of our therapists, then they may have mentioned foam rolling to you or suggested you incorporate it into your exercise or recovery regime.
If you go to the gym then you’ve probably heard of it or even seen a foam roller lying around, but have you used one and do you know the benefits?
Different types of foam rollers
Foam rollers can come in different shapes, sizes, textures and densities; it’s important to pick the right one for your body to maximise benefits and prevent injury.
Finding the right foam roller for your body is mainly a personal preference; it can be best to start with a smooth soft-medium density roller and work your way up to a more firm or textured style roller, if need be.
How does foam rolling work?
Foam rolling or self-myofascial release (SMR) is a great tool for self massage, it has similar effects to techniques a therapist may use such as deep tissue massage and myofascial release.
The slow and sustained pressure the foam roller creates on the muscles prompts the central nervous system to reduce tension & increase blood flow to the muscles, making the muscles more receptive to stretching and movement.
Foam rolling can be done before and/or after exercise or throughout the day when you feel like you may need a break and a stretch.
To use a foam roller, whilst on the ground place a body part on the foam roller (for example - your calf) and use your body weight to apply as much pressure as you feel comfortable, begin rolling back and forth slowly across the length of the muscle. You may find a tender spot (or a few) - hold on this area for approx 30 seconds or until you feel it ease. Don’t forget to breathe during this as it will further help to relax the muscle and ease the tension.
So, what are the benefits of foam rolling?
- Increases range of motion & increase muscle flexibility - this means that you don’t feel as tight and can potentially perform your exercises with more effective form/technique as tight muscles can often hinder your technique and performance
- Helps to release muscle tension & fascia - fascia is a sheath of connective tissue that surrounds all of your internal organs, muscles and parts of the body, fascia can play a big role in the tension you may feel
- Helps to relieve muscle soreness, potentially reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that you get after a workout
- Help to relieve general aches and pains by alleviating muscle tension & soreness
- Prevent injury - tight muscles can be more prone to injury as well as creating compensations within other muscles/areas of the body, foam rolling can be a great way to reduce tightness in muscles and prevent injury
Foam rolling was a wide range of benefits and obviously can affect each individual differently; ask one of our therapists today to find out what muscles and areas your body may benefit from foam rolling, and let them guide you through the process.
And roll your way towards feeling better.