You probably have seen them around and may have wondered just what is a foam roller and what exactly is it used for. Foam rollers are self myofascial release techniques which can aid in increasing blood flow, decreasing injuries and increasing flexibility. These techniques can be found in virtually any gym across the country and are relatively inexpensive to purchase. If you’ve never used one I would highly recommend purchasing one or trying one out at your local gym. They’ll help your muscles relax in order for you to feel better. There is a wide range of foam rollers on the market ranging in price from $10 to several hundred dollars. They will come in different lengths so if you are a larger person then a longer roller may be needed. While beginners don’t need to purchase really expensive ones immediately a lot of amateur athletes find that is their best purchase.
Using a myofascial release tool performs just like some therapeutic massage in the sense it encourages blood flow throughout parts of your muscles. Blood vessels carries oxygen also to nutrients in your muscles and also feeds them.
A foam roller can used before a run as a warm up of the muscles by increasing the blood flow and it also can be used after a run to help aid in the recovery process.
Taking that approach we can help assure that such muscles as the hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors, are all prepared to deal with stress these muscles receive during a running routine. Stretching is a great way to help your muscles recover and adding foam rolling will give you the ability to control a deep tissue like massage in the areas you desire.
As for other benefits of foam rollers: increased strength, balance and flexibility – considering the foam roller can be bought for less than the expense of a one-hour massage with a physician – I’m willing to put in the work and look forward to the benefits. Bear in mind though, that after a grueling cycle, run, swim, CrossFit workout-of-the-day or general workout – kneading your tender tissue with a hard foam roller, just emphasises the phrase: “it hurts so good!’ but your muscles will thank you for it, in the morning.
Other benefits of using a foam roller include reducing the number of injuries by removing muscle knots. This can be done by performing a wide range of exercises with the foam roller including, hamstring , quadricep , It Band, calf, and shoulder exercises to name a few.