After putting in a workout, you find that your muscles are extremely sore – especially on leg day. You have tried different stretches and different cool downs, but to no avail; your muscles are still achy after a workout.
Well, fortunately, there is a way that you can ease your muscle aches, pains and stiffness. – How? It’s as easy as grabbing a good foam roller and using it every day. Use your foam roller before workouts to wake up your muscles, and use it after your workouts to cool them down.
What are the specific foam roller benefits?
Foam rollers help to stretch your muscles and tendons. They also break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. Both of these things help to prevent injury during a workout and recover faster after a workout.
By doing simple exercises that use your own body weight with a cylindrical foam roller, you can perform a self-massage or allow for myofascial release, which breaks up trigger points and soothes fascia. It also soothes fascia that is tight and aids in stimulating blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues; another reason why foam rollers can prevent injury and help you recover faster.
Myofascia is comprised of several elements, including:
- The superficial fascia, which is made of soft, connective tissue that wraps and connects the muscles, bones and nerves. It is located just below the skin.
- Muscles, which are comprised of tendons and ligaments and help to move the joints, as well as provide strength.
By using foam rollers, you can perform myofascial release. This technique places gentle, yet constant pressure on the soft tissue, and applies traction to the fascia, as well. This helps to soften and lengthen the fascia, which results in the breakdown of scar tissue and adhesions that can develop between the muscles, the skin and the bones. Myofascial release has been shown to ease pain from things like shin splints and IT band syndrome. It has also been found to improve flexibility and the range of motion in the joints. So, for example, after lifting weights, try foam rolling lower back techniques to ease your muscles.
Foam rollers also help to break down trigger points, or small knots that develop in the muscles when they have been injured or overused. Trigger points can cause pain in the general area where they are located, headaches, pain in the neck and jaw, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome. The can also cause constant pain and soreness and decrease your flexibility and range of motion. Because strenuous exercises can overwork the muscles, it can cause a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, which causes trigger points, or knots. By using a foam roller exercises after a workout, you can break down and loosen those trigger points, you can ease your pain and discomfort. You can also prevent cramps from occurring all together.
Using a foam roller before a workout can help to stretch out the tendons, ligaments and muscles, all things that help to prevent injury.
Foam roller usage can also improve your flexibility and your balance, as well as decrease your fatigue. All of these things combined can improve the benefits that you see in your workout, as well as decrease any soreness or injuries that you may sustain as a result of working out.
To get the full benefit of using a foam roller, use it five to 10 minutes before your workout, and again after your workout. Before your exercise routine, it will help to hydrate the tissues, giving you a greater range of motion during your workout. By using the roller after a workout, you can release that lactic buildup, which will prevent soreness from setting in.
Even on your rest days, foam rolling is a good idea. It will help to release tight muscles, which can occur when you aren’t exercising, or when you are sitting at a desk all day.
Two other excellent benefits of foam rolling are that it is simple and inexpensive. All you need to purchase is the best foam roller for back, which is relatively inexpensive. You don’t need to purchase any other expensive equipment. And, all you need is roll the roller under your joints to reap the benefits!