Foam rollers, by now most of us own one! However this is usually where I find the commitment to these tubular torture devices ends, as a massage therapist and weightlifter I am constantly preaching the use of foam rollers and trigger point balls to my clients… in fact very few escape my office without a solid lecture on the importance on maintaining our muscles and our mobility. So let’s go over the basics of foam rolling, what it does and how it can benefit you and your training.
Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release, to break that down again “myo” means muscle and fascia is the collagen based sheath that surrounds all our muscles and tissues, keeps them sliding smoothly over each other, and connects our tendons and ligaments. Ideally our fascia should keep everything sliding and moving smoothly and with ease, however when injury, trauma, inflammation, inactivity or repetitive movements occur it can can become stiff, immobile and bind to together to make tight bands or adhesions which can often be painful and cause immobility in the muscle, using a roller as a tool to release this helps to separate the fibers and return the integrity back to the tissue.
The best part is you really DON’T need to set aside that much time to the practice to reap the benefits, 10 – 15 minutes either pre or post workout is sufficient.
The benefits of making this a habit in your routine include:
- – Increased recovery time
- – Improved mobility
- – Improved range of motion
- – Warming up your muscles pre workout
- – Minimizing DOMS post workout
- – Increased performance
- – Decreases your risk of injury.If you are looking for some further information and tutorials I recommend asking a personal trainer at your gym, youtube tutorials or my personal favorite resource “Becoming a supple leopard” by exercise physiologist Kelly Starrit.