Many people have started to see widespread use of foam rollers at gyms across the country, but many people wonder what is the point? Some people think that foam rollers are only necessary after incredibly strenuous workouts and others do not know how to use them correctly. Foam rollers can be a great pliability tool for anybody before or after any type of workout and can help to decrease tension and increase range of motion. In this post, I will unveil some of the most notable benefits of using foam rollers and hopefully convince you to add foam rolling as a regular part of your workout routine.
- Reduction in Development of Adhesions
Tissue adhesions are created as a result of collagen binding between layers of muscle. If a muscle is held in the same position for significant lengths of time or is overused, collagen can form between layers of skeletal muscles, creating knots or adhesions that prohibit the movement of muscles. Foam rolling can help to eliminate and prevent these adhesions from forming in the first place.
- Increase Range of Motion
When adhesions bind between layers of tissue, it can cause a muscle to remained in a shortened position which increases tightness in the muscle and contributes to a decreased range of motion. Regular use of a foam roller can help to eliminate muscle tightness and ensure optimal joint range of motion.
- Restore Proper Length-Tension Relationship to Muscles
There are a multitude of muscles that work together to create joint motion and, if one segment of the tissue becomes tight and shortened, it can cause an imbalance where the muscles working on the opposite side of the joint lengthen and become inhibited. Using a foam roller can help to maintain the muscular balance. It is best to use a foam roller as a warm-up to lengthen the muscles to their full extent before exercising.
- Reduce Soreness
Foam rollers can quicken the recovery process by getting rid of soreness much quicker than if you did not foam roll. The natural inflammation that occurs within a muscle after exercise, coupled with limited use of those muscles after the workout can cause adhesions to form. If tissue is not moved properly during the recovery process, the body will naturally create adhesions in the muscle. Using a foam roller can be a proactive measure to help prevent adhesions from forming in the first place.
- Increase Blood Flow
The pressure from foam rolling can increase blood flow and elevate heat to the effected area. When using a foam roller as a warm-up, make sure to only use the roller for a brief period of time in order to elevate muscle temperature and reduce tension. Applying pressure from a foam roller for a prolonged period of time before a workout could desensitize the muscle and effect its ability to contract during the workout.
- Promote Relaxation
A release of adhesions after a workout can create a feeling of relaxation after a strenuous workout. When using a foam roller after a workout, focus on sore and tense areas for up to 90 seconds to allow the tissue to relax and lengthen.