Benefits of Foam Rolling for your Body, Mind & Performance
Tired of how long it takes your body to recover from a workout?
DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) hitting you hard and don’t know how to calm them down?
Want to increase your mobility, flexibility, and level of performance?
Sounds like you need a foam roller.
You may have already seen this oddly-shaped accessory on the gym floor, watched people get in compromised positions whilst using it, and wondered: “what is all the fuss about?” Why are people investing their time in this?
The truth is, foam rolling has a plethora of benefits. Not only for your performance, but for your body and mind too (people aren’t just doing this for fun!)
In this article, we’ve covered the benefits of adding in foam rolling to your workout or recovery routine...
Performance-based benefits of Foam Rolling
Relieves Muscle Soreness & Speeds up Recovery
Working out creates a strain on your muscles. This tears the muscle fibres which can lead to immense soreness and discomfort. Foam rolling allows the built-up scar tissue in the muscles to break up which alleviates the pain.
Use this technique to reduce the soreness after a workout and you'll promote the recovery process. Fail to do so, and you could end up with muscle adhesions…
Muscle damage as a result of exercise signals the beginning of the repair process. It is during this stage that new collagen molecules form to help repair the injured tissue. If tissue is not moved during the repair process, collagen could bind between the layers of muscle and create adhesions. Using a foam roller after exercise will reduce the risk of new collagen forming adhesions between layers.
Increase Joint Range of Motion (ROM) & Minimise Possibility of Injury
If you were to consistently use this accessory, you would soon notice your joints have a better range of motion (ROM). The pressure from foam rolling lengthens muscles, increases the blood flow, and breaks down developed scar tissue. As the scar tissue breaks down, it reduces the tightness or tension in your muscles and allows them to stretch further. When this happens, it restores your range of motion to full, which is crucial for you to be able to perform at your best. (And will mean that you can finally hit depth in a squat!)
With better range of motion and less tense muscles, you minimise the possibility of getting injured whilst exercising.
Improves Mobility & Flexibility without Impairing Strength
There’s no doubt about it… foam rolling will make you more mobile! Like stretching, foam rolling loosens the muscles, decreases friction, and increases your suppleness.
Carry out this activity regularly and before long you will be able to move smoother, feel more flexible, but still maintain your strength.
Faster Fitness Results & Enhanced Muscular Performance
Quicker recovery, improved mobility and better range of motion, and guess what? You’ll be able to exercise more frequently, produce results quicker, and achieve your fitness goals in no time! Increased mobility and range of motion will mean that your muscles can perform better in workouts. This will allow you to increase power and strength at a quicker rate than before.
With the built-up scar tissue in the muscles breaking up, there's a higher blood flow entering the muscle - providing more nutrients and oxygen. This eliminates the over-production of lactic acid and will mean that your muscles feel and perform a lot better.
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Physiological benefits of Foam Rolling
So many of us are sat in an office chair for hours on end without realising that we are slouching. Do this 5 days a week, for 48 weeks per year and you’ll soon be on to a big problem!
Sitting for long periods of time can cause many issues: Tightened and stiff muscles. Back pain. Disrupted blood circulation resulting in less oxygen reaching the back’s nerve and muscle cells. (Sounds nasty, right?)
Foam rolling can help loosen up the muscles, knead out knots, and boost blood circulation.
Using a roller on your spine can help to straighten out rounded shoulders as a result of slouching, and act as an aid to correct your posture.
Restores Muscle Imbalances
To create joint motion, many muscles work together. When one segment becomes tight, there becomes an imbalance which causes the muscles working on the opposite side of the joint to lengthen.
Using a foam roller creates myofascial release. This alleviates tissue tension and muscle tightness, and helps to restore the muscle lengths back to their original state.
Manages the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia & Sciatica
Whilst foam rolling won’t be able to cure either of these ailments, it can relieve the pain that comes with them. Making changes in your lifestyle such as following an exercise programme will help to manage the symptoms.
Psychological benefits of Foam Rolling
Promotes Feeling of Relaxation
Much like with a massage, foam rolling breaks up tightness in your muscles. Many people find foam rolling to be relaxing as a result - an important psychological benefit.
Acts as a Stress-Reliever
With your muscles feeling tight, contracted, and short, your body builds up a lot of excess stress.
Once having rolled, your muscles relax, which decreases the stress and tension you feel - having an overall positive effect on your mood!
Lifestyle benefits of Foam Rolling
Simple Accessory that Saves you Money
If you regularly workout, it is recommended that you get regular massages to ease the strain you put your muscles under. But who really has the time or money to book regular trips to the spa? (We certainly don’t). One of the top benefits of foam rolling is that it provides an easy solution! Athletes use this handy accessory to release tension between visits instead, saving them time and money.
(Did we mention that our Mobility Manual Roller costs less than one sports massage? If you haven’t already, it’s time to invest and get rolling! You’ll be saving yourself money in the long run).
Convenient & Transportable
Adding something new into your workout routine can sometimes feel like a massive headache. There's already a lot to think about with sets, reps, and PBs, and so adding something else into the mix could be enough to turn anybody off going to the gym!
Foam rolling can fit seamlessly into your workout routine so this is something you need not worry about! Whether it be as part of your warm-up or your cool down, you won’t need to find the time to squeeze it in.
Unlike most foam rollers, the Mobility Manual Roller can be compressed. This means that it takes up a smaller amount of space and is easily transportable. So even if you run out of time whilst at the gym, you can still take it with you and complete your rolling elsewhere.
Whether it be before or after your workout, foam rolling is an extremely effective way to reduce muscle tension. Especially if you have any leftover tension from exercising over previous days.
If you spend prolonged periods of time sitting down, a foam roller can be an important tool to use as it promotes healthy blood circulation.
Add a foam roller to your warm-up or cool-down routine, and you will feel less sore in the days which follow. This means you can get back to working out quicker with less pain, and an improved level of performance!