So, you’ve just gone over the back of a tight muscle with a foam roller and the pain is definitely real. You can’t help but wince, though you know that rolling through the pain will definitely be worth it in the long run.
Foam rolling is a great way to help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness as the benefits of a foam roller could range from warming up your muscles before a workout to actually help you recover faster if you’re experiencing some tightness and pain.
How Does a Foam Roller Work?
Foam rolling works by massaging or releasing muscle and fascial tightness. The roller applies pressure back and forth over a certain area and helps manipulate and break up “knots”, stiffness and tension that can form in your muscles and tissue.
The mixture of smooth and bumpy textures of a foam roller is designed to mimic the actions of a massage therapist, which may help to reduce muscle tension.
What Are the Benefits?
Helps Relieve Muscle Soreness and Speeds Up Recovery
The overuse and increased exercise intensity, injury and even periods of inactivity can lead to muscular shortening and reduce mobility. Foam rolling around sore muscles can help break down the built-up scar tissue in the muscles and increase blood into your muscles, providing it with more nutrients and oxygen. It also can help eliminate the over production of lactic acid. This helps your muscles feel and perform a lot better.
Helps Restore Muscles and Prevent Injury
Foam rolling will stretch and lengthen your muscles at the same time as breaking down developed scar tissue. As the scar tissue is broken down, it allows the muscles to stretch further. This helps restore your muscles’ full range of motion to help you better perform during sports and exercise, which can then prevent injury.
Improves Range of Motion and Mobility
Poor mobility is often caused by muscles which have become shortened, which then causes muscular trigger points also known as knots. These knots then effect the range of movement and mobility and can also cause pain and muscle fatigue. Foam rolling can help break up the developed scar and trigger points, which then will help these muscles stretch and bounce back to its normal and can even increase a range of motion.
Helps Enhance Muscle Performance
With increased mobility and range of motion, the muscles can perform better when exercising and during workouts as it can increase levels of power and strength.
Improves Postural Control and Corrects Muscle Imbalances
The body naturally wants to be in a state of rest or balance, known as equilibrium. However, as your posture, gravity and external influences can put a strain on muscle balance, the process of balance can end up being quite difficult to maintain. Restoring mobility and aiding muscle function will naturally allow muscle imbalances to correct itself. This process is called postural reciprocal inhibition.