We’ve all seen pictures of athletes and avid gym enthusiasts rolling around on a cylinder bumpy contraption – but what are the benefits of doing this? In this article, we’re here to explain how foam rolling is not just for the big muscled, but is actually hugely beneficial for anyone suffering from muscular pain, soreness, and mobility issues.
What is foam rolling?
If you don’t already use a foam roller, you might even be unsure what one is. As a popular muscle recovery tool used by gym-goers, and numerous exercise lovers, foam rolling can reap a whole host of benefits. Foam rollers work by relaxing the body and breaking down any knots or tight spots and are specially designed to be used post-workout.
Not only do they have the benefit of aiding muscle recovery but they can also help in numerous other ways, which is why we’re here to explain.
5 Health benefits of foam rolling
Here are some of the top health benefits foam rolling has to offer:
- Improved flexibility
- Improved range of motion
- Easing of muscle soreness
- Prevents injury
- Improves your mental health.
1. Improved flexibility
Using a foam roller regularly increases blood flow to the muscles. So when you have completed a particularly gruelling workout, rolling on a foam roller will help loosen all your muscles and aid in your muscle recovery process. Foam rolling helps loosen and stretch the muscle, which results in improved flexibility.
You might not be aware but flexibility is super important for those who workout on a regular basis. Improved flexibility can mean you’ll have better form in your daily life as well as when performing certain exercises. Your posture will improve and if you often find that you can’t get low enough to the ground when squatting, this problem could be due to poor flexibility. By using a foam roller, you’ll be able to perform exercises a lot better, which will result in improved muscular strength.
2. Improved range of motion
If you’ve never heard of the term ‘range of motion’ also known as ROM, it simply relates to the extent of movement in a joint. In your day-to-day routine, if you find it particularly difficult to move your arms and legs during everyday activities such as sitting down, you may have a poor range of motion. To ease general soreness and discomfort, using a foam roller can increase your ROM. Using a foam roller around your joints will ease inflammation as well as increasing comfort in your joints. There are many kinds of foam rollers available on the market that can help you, including a vibrating foam roller that works by using vibration technology to improve circulation, blood flow, and range of motion
3. Easing of muscle soreness
Delayed on-set muscle soreness, also known as DOMS, can hinder your fitness process. Foam rolling can help ease any muscle soreness you might experience post-workout. It can work by improving your circulation and repairing any damaged tissue. Not only are muscle recovery exercises suitable for your post-workout cooldown, but for those people who suffer from general aches and pains, foam rollers can loosen any tightness.
4. Prevents injury
As injury can be caused by overworking your body, using muscle recovery tools can increase better range of motion and flexibility. As everything ties together, if your range of motion and flexibility increase, this means you’re less likely to strain a muscle or make a wrong move during exercise resulting in a potential injury that could set you back.
5. Improves mental health
When you have knots in your back or are feeling the pain from a workout, nothing makes you feel better than a massage or a good stretch. However, did you know that foam rolling can have similar health and wellbeing benefits to receiving a massage?
This all has a direct impact on your mental health. By working to relax your body and breaking down any tight spots, foam rolling can relieve stress and tension, particularly in your back and shoulders. So, if you have had a particular bad day in the office, or place of work, try foam rolling not just after exercise, but at the end of a long day as a way to unwind and de-stress the body.