The Science Behind Foam Rolling: Benefits and Techniques for Optimal Recovery
If you workout daily like I do, you’ve probably experienced muscle soreness or tightness at some point. While stretching and massages can provide some relief, foam rolling should be your go-to. Foam rolling is a great form of self-myofascial release, which helps improve muscle function and flexibility. I love my foam roller and here are the benefits of foam rolling after a workout!
It has been used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts for decades, but it’s only recently gained mainstream attention. In this post, we will discuss the science behind foam rolling and its various benefits.
The Science Behind Foam Rolling
Before we dive into the benefits of foam rolling, let’s quickly go over the science behind it. Muscles are wrapped in a dense connective tissue called fascia. When muscles are overused or tight, they can develop adhesions, which can lead to pain and injury.
Foam rolling applies pressure to these adhesions, breaking them down and allowing the muscles to relax. This, in turn, improves blood flow, range of motion, and muscle activation.
This is especially great to help with Strength Training soreness.
Research has shown that foam rolling can increase range of motion, decrease muscle soreness, and improve performance. In a study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, researchers found that foam rolling was effective in reducing muscle soreness and improving vertical jump height.
It’s one of those exercise activities that hurts so good! Let’s get into why you need a foam roller in your life!
The Benefits of Foam Rolling After A Workout
Now that we know the science behind foam rolling, let’s discuss its benefits.
1. Improves Range of Motion
By applying pressure to the muscles, foam rolling can help improve their elasticity, therefore increasing range of motion. This can lead to improved performance during exercise and reduced risk of injury.
2. Reduces Muscle Soreness
Foam rolling promotes blood flow to the muscles, which can help reduce muscle soreness after a workout. It can also help speed up recovery time, allowing you to get back to your workouts faster.
3. Enhances Performance
By improving range of motion, muscle activation, and decreasing muscle soreness, foam rolling can improve your overall performance. It can also help prevent injury and make your workouts more efficient.
4. Reduces the Risk of Injury
As mentioned earlier, foam rolling can help break down adhesions in muscle tissue, which can reduce the risk of injury. It can also help improve posture and prevent muscle imbalances.
Techniques for Foam Rolling Different Muscle Groups
Now that we know the benefits of foam rolling, let’s dive into the specific techniques for foam rolling different muscle groups:
Start by lying on your stomach, with the foam roller placed under your thighs. Use your arms to push your body forward and backward, rolling the foam roller up and down the length of your quads. Stop on any sore spots and apply pressure for a few seconds.
Sit on the foam roller with one leg extended, the other foot crossed over it. Roll back and forth along the length of your hamstring, from your glutes to just above the back of your knee.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, with the foam roller placed under your calves. Roll the foam roller up and down your calves, stopping on any sore spots.
Lie with the foam roller under your upper back, with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground and roll up and down your upper back, from your shoulder blades to just above your waist.
Foam Rolling Is A Great Addition
If you are looking to help your recovery from day to day, foam rolling is the way to go! If you are a Peloton member Hannah Corbin has a fantastic series of foam rolling workouts, there are also a bunch available on youtube as well.
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Hi! I’m Nellie. I am a busy mama of three, wife to my high school sweetheart who loves to cook, workout and stay organized! I love to share helpful printables, the best recipes and fitness tips for the modern mom. I strongly believe that every mom can feed their family well, take proper care of themselves and have fun along the way! Read my story.
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