Previously the fitness industry’s best-kept secret, foam rollers are now a common sight in most fitness establishments. With so many health benefits associated with daily foam rolling, it’s easy to see why gyms are keeping a good stock of these! This article takes a look at why personal trainers recommend foam rolling and also five health benefits of regular foam rolling.
What’s the Deal with Foam Rolling?
Foam rolling, or deep-tissue rolling, is one of many ways to practise self-myofascial release. In layman’s terms this refers to the process of applying pressure to pressure points that have developed in your muscles. This is in an attempt to reduce inflammation and stiffness.
Other methods of self-myofascial release include stretching and working sore muscles with your hands. Self-massaging is great for releasing tension but can be ineffective if not practised correctly. With foam rolling, you can pinpoint specific muscle groups without having an in-depth understanding of the musculo-skeletal system.
Personal Trainers’ Weigh In
Who better to ask about foam rollers than personal trainers, right? Here’s what some of them have to say about treating your body with a foam roller:
- “One of the big benefits to a foam roller is a release of tension, which is nice with all the stress [of everyday life].”
- “Foam rollers are one of the most crucial components to any [exercise] program I design because they increase range of motion and mobility.”
- “Foam rollers can really help release lactic acid that builds up in your muscles after a workout. Be careful though, when you first roll your muscles it will be sore and painful. However, it will help alleviate any pain in the long run
- “This tool is definitely going to loosen your body up! You’re going to want to do myofascial release before you go to bed.”
Foam Rolling: 5 Health Benefits
Other than the health benefits of foam rolling listed below, this technique aids with recovery after strenuous exercise. It also reduces the risks of muscle soreness through preventative deep-tissue rolling. Here are five health benefits of foam rolling:
- Improved Flexibility
Stretching after exercise is a good idea but foam rolling is even better! Not only does foam rolling stretch your muscles but it improves the capabilities of your muscles and tendons to stretch further and perform better over time. Always wanted to touch your toes? Try a foam roller!
- Removal of Lactic Acid
That soreness you feel a day or two after heavy exercise is caused by a build-up of lactic acid and carbon dioxide in the muscles. When using a foam roller after a workout, lactic acid is moved from the muscles into the lymphatic system where it cannot cause muscular pain and stiffness.
- Breaking Up Scar Tissue
Years and years of exercising can cause scar tissue within the body, specifically in muscles and tendons. By foam rolling these areas, scar tissue is broken up and absorbed by the muscular system. This is done through targeting specific pressure points using a foam roller.
- Improved Blood Flow
By working your muscles with a foam roller, they stretch and loosen in a way that forces blood out of the muscle tissue. At this time the old blood is replaced with fresh blood, moving blood through the body and improving overall circulation.
- Greater Range of Motion
By foam rolling muscles instead of merely stretching them, you can actually increase the range of bodily motion! This is because foam rolling increases joint mobility and muscular strain loads, which means you can go further, higher and heavier as your muscles improve through targeted foam rolling.
Are you a personal trainer? Do you want to be able to teach your clients about foam rolling so that they can use it to give themselves relief from sore muscles? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Online Foam Rolling Course will give you the knowledge that you need in order to help your clients gain this skill. Specifically, you’ll learn about the muscles that foam rolling works on, how to set up foam rolling exercises for your client and how to identify ‘bad’ pain that clients may complain of during foam rolling. For more information, visit our website.