Foam rolling the quads

When most of us think of exercise, we think of going to the gym or going for a run. We tend to ignore stretching and mobility work because, well, it’s boring! And because you’re not getting your sweat on, it doesn’t really feel like you’re accomplishing anything.

But it’s vitally important to maintain your body as well as improve your fitness. Foam rolling might just be the best investment you ever make in yourself. Let’s dive right in.

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Conclusion - Get Your Roll On!

 

Why Should You Foam Roll?      

Fascia is the connective tissue surrounding primarily everything in your body including your muscles. This tissue can become overworked and tight. When this happens, and you work out your muscles you can develop little tears and adhesions between the membrane and your muscles. These adhesions are what causes us to feel sore post-workout.

Myofascial release is when we apply pressure to these affected areas through foam rolling. Pressure can eliminate the adhesions and release the tension similar to how a deep tissue massage would.

Here's the top 15 ways foam rolling every day can benefit you.

 

15. Improve Flexibility      

Fascia will tighten up over time when it is not used; this is typically why sedentary people have a higher risk of movement related injuries. Foam rolling will keep the fascia loose and increase flexibility. You can target adhesions with pressure to loosen muscles.

By applying pressure to specific areas, the connective tissue surrounding your muscles will gain elasticity and be able to handle more stress.

 

14. Increase Joint Range of Motion      

Flexibility and range of motion

Rolling daily will keep the fascia loose. Myofascial release results in better hydration to your muscles. The hydration will keep them well lubricated and flexible.

If you have an increased range of motion it means you can give your muscles a better workout. A more extensive range of motion will lead to better and more efficient exercising and faster results.

 

13. Improve Circulation      

Myofascial release from foam rolling exercises applies pressure to muscles - this forces blood out of the connective tissue and muscles and replaces the area with new blood.

Whenever new blood is present, it brings oxygen and glycogen along with it, resulting in higher energy, focus, and an array of other benefits.

 

12. Prevent Injury      

Better circulation and range of motion result in more graceful body movements. When your muscles are moving smoothly with your body, it decreases the likelihood of dysfunctional movement.

Myofascial release reduces the chance of injury because your body is moving fluently and your flexible muscles have the elasticity to stretch as necessary. When the fascia is loose and lubricated, you will have a free range of motion without the risk of tearing or hyper-extending your muscles.

 

11. Faster Recovery Times        

One of the many benefits of foam rolling is that it helps you recover from workouts or injuries. Foam rolling draws fresh blood to the affected area. After an exercise you are sore due to the buildup of lactic acid and foam rolling will expel the lactic acid and replace it with fresh blood and nutrients.

Fresh blood in your muscles will result in less post-workout soreness and can also be useful for torn or hyper-extended muscles.

 

10. Reduce Soreness       

Back pain factsPhoto by Pain Pix licensed by CC2.0

Foam rolling on a regular basis will lead to less soreness in areas like your back and legs. Rolling the affected area every day will leave you feeling more mobile and willing to get active.

Foam rolling plays an active part in your overall energy level and will leave you feeling younger, more supple, and ready to take on the world!

 

9. Break Up Scar Tissue        

For months after exercise or daily activities, scar tissue can build up between the skin, muscles, and bones. Putting targeted pressure on your fascia will relieve you of the pain.

Those who experience frequent shin splints or IT Band Syndrome can benefit tremendously from daily foam rolling exercises. It can also be used to ease the pain from torn muscles.

 

8. Reduce Stress      

Myofascial release is known to lower cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the hormone that causes stress.

Rolling after a workout or a long day of work will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next task. It can also serve as a midday energy boost. Instead of reaching for that coffee or energy drink, reach for your foam roller and see how it can affect your energy levels.

 

7. Cheaper Than a Massage      

No one gets a massage every day. With a foam roller, you can get the same benefits of a deep tissue massage every day for free.

A massage does the same thing as a foam roller; it is targeted pressure to the adhesions in your muscles and tissues that cause pain and soreness.

Before you schedule your next spa day, try a foam roller instead and see how you feel!

 

6. Relieve Office Stiffness      

You don't need to have just come back from boot camp to experience stiffness and soreness.

People who sit for extended periods of time throughout the day suffer from an array of painful symptoms. Sitting at a desk all day can do permanent damage to your posture. Over time this will lead to continuous stiffness in your back and neck.

Foam rolling after a day at the office will reset your spine allowing you a full range of motion and flexibility.

 

5. Use for Exercise      

The medical benefits of foam rolling are well known, but you can also use your foam roller for strength building. Neat, huh?

These sites below provide some fantastic resources of unique ways to use foam rollers for strength and endurance training. The great thing about foam rollers is that anybody can pick one up and start training.

www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/foam-roller-exercises

greatist.com/move/foam-roller-exercises-the-best-moves-for-strength

 

4. Keep Old Injuries and Arthritis Under Control       

Freedom from pain feels fantastic!

 

Ever torn a hamstring, dislocated a joint or broken a bone?

These things can all come back to haunt you for the rest of your life. I broke my leg in a motorcycle accident, and now I have virtually no movement in my left ankle.

Years after the accident, I started getting serious problems: a numb leg, knee pain, hip pain, back pain, neck pain…you name it, I had it.

Then I became aware of the cause: because my ankle couldn’t move naturally, the rest of my body adapted unnatural movement patterns to compensate.

Since then, daily foam rolling has been a lifesaver for me.

If you’ve had any injuries that reduce joint mobility or flexibility, it will be for you, too.

 

3. Good for Pre-Workout      

Foam roller exercises can work for your warm up as well.

Foam rolling fits perfectly alongside stretching as an excellent warm-up for your exercise routine. This will prevent you from experiencing any injuries or overworked muscles during your workout, and it will help you to be less sore afterward.

 

2. Get Results Quicker      

Who doesn't like faster results? A myofascial release will lead to a shorter recovery and lower chance of injury. Quick recovery will allow you to stick to your workout and get to work more often. You can’t win the game when you’re unable to play, right?

 

1. Overall Health and Wellness       

The benefits of foam rolling are genuinely endless from pre-workout to post-workout - injury prevention to energy generation.

Feeling flexible, mobile and free of pain gives you vitality. Foam rolling will keep you there. You just have to pick one up and get started. It’s an essential companion in your quest for a happier, healthier you.

 

Get Your Roll On!      

If you’re still in your 20s, you probably don’t suffer much with pain, soreness and injury. In fact, you might feel pretty much invincible! So you might think you don’t need to bother with any of this foam rolling nonsense.

Let me tell you: these things will catch up with you – and sooner than you think. The earlier you start taking proactive steps to maintain your joint and muscle health, the better your quality of life will be in years to come.

If your 20s have already passed you by, you know exactly what I’m talking about. So what are you waiting for? Once you start foam rolling, you’ll never look back!