Foam rolling provides self-myofascial release, which is a fancy term for self-massage. Whether you have just started working out, or have been more consistent, you probably have experienced tightness and soreness in your muscles. As someone who enjoys running, I have dealt with many sore days myself, especially in my quads and calves! So when I came home to find that Elyse had bought a foam roller, I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. Anything to get rid of the soreness was worth a shot!
The benefits of foam rolling were immediate and it is now a part of my weekly routine! Some of the major benefits of foam rolling include:
- Improved blood flow and faster recovery – Foam rolling increases circulation throughout your muscles and tissues, allowing for faster recovery after workouts
- Increased range of motion – Foam rolling helps to increase flexibility and range of motion. It has similar benefits of stretching but can actually take it a step further by relieving muscle knots. This is because foam rolling works more like a massage, and since you control the movements, you can focus in on specific areas.
- Healing of adhesions and scar tissue – Adhesions and scar tissue can form a lack of mobility, injury, or general inflammation and can become painful over time. The pressure from foam rolling, (and foam rolling slowly I should add!) helps to relieve adhesions and scar tissue. In addition, with your increased flexibility and blood flow, foam rolling can help prevent the issue(s) going forward.
It should be said that foam rolling can be intense (especially at first) and be a little painful. This is because you are giving yourself a deep tissue massage and working out specific tension points in your body, which ultimately allows you to feel better. However, please keep in mind that because of the pressure provided by foam rolling, it is important to not use it on your lower back or neck, as the pressure could cause injury.
Check out the foam rolling routine below to get started: