Are Foam Rollers Miracle Workers?

You may or may not have heard of foam rollers. What are they? What can they do for you? Are they worth trying out? Let’s take a look. 

Image Credit: http://www.agirlwhomakes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/GRID_upperback.jpg

By now, you’ve probably heard of foam rolling. Commonly used as a way to ease out tense, overworked muscles, it is a cheaper alternative to expensive therapy or massage sessions. It can also be used during cooldown and warmup to help increase blood flow and flexibility in the muscles.

A word of warning, though: it will hurt. If the pain is a little too overbearing, especially when rolling on the usual overworked muscles, use other parts of your body to support yourself and reduce the weight placed on that area.

How Does It Work?

Foam rolling is considered as an act of self-myofascial release. Fascia is a layer of densely woven collagen strands that exist to protect your muscles and bones and everything else in your body. When you train, the fascia thickens and contracts to protect what is underneath it, leading to tightness and mobility restrictions.

Foam rolling helps to relax it so that your muscles can go back to working within their full range of motion. It also works out the knots in your muscles and increases blood circulation, thereby helping with your muscle recovery.

How Do You Roll?

There are different ways of rolling different muscles due to the difference in their relative sizes and location within the body. The general idea is to go slowly to make sure you thoroughly work out all the knots in that area.

However, as with all things, more does not equate to better. Over-rolling can lead to inflammation, and if you sit on an area for too long, you might end up bruising or damaging the muscles and the nerves there.

Interestingly, if an area hurts, it might not necessarily mean that you should roll on that area. Some areas are too vulnerable to be foam rolled (such as your abs and lower spine), and pain in those areas are usually due to knots in other areas.

How to Choose the Right Foam Roller

There are many different types of foam rollers out there, varying in size and foam density. If you don’t want to get an actual foam roller, tennis/golf balls and other rounded household objects work too.

The most important thing to consider when choosing your foam roller is how painful it is when you roll on it. Lower density foam rolls tend to be less painful on the muscles, so use these if your muscles are exceptionally tense. However, these tend to go out of shape more easily.

So, evaluate the cost and weigh it against personal needs when deciding which foam roller to buy.

Foam rolling helps to relax it so that your muscles can go back to working within their full range of motion. It also works out the knots in your muscles and increases blood circulation, thereby helping with your muscle recovery.

 

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LIV3LY Editor
LIV3LY Editor

Always providing the latest news and reviews in the mass participation sportings scene! If you would like to contribute to our website or have an event to publish, contact us at info@liv3ly.com.

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