The Benefits of a Foam Roller

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Runner Using Foam Roller



Do you use a foam roller during your warm-up or after a run to loosen up your body muscles?   Science says you should.  Prolonged static stretching during your warm-up can decrease performance in your workout.   But a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that myofascial release with a foam roller can dramatically increase your range of motion without any negative effects on strength.  Researchers found that the foam rolling did not impact strength. Some previous studies have shown that massage and prolonged stretching can reduce strength, so this was a surprise.


Stretching tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments

Foam rolling works by returning your muscles and soft tissue to their native form.  Exercise, injury, and the rigors of life can cause knots that restrict mobility and performance.  By smashing those knots and allowing soft tissue to operate correctly again, foam rolling increases range of motion and improves workout performance.

running-accessories-foam-roller-with-woman-pic1The study recommends using a foam roller with a PVC core for best results. Foam rollers with a PVC core are harder than the other popular type, which is made of one solid piece of foam.

This technique can be effective for many muscles, including:

gastrocnemius, latissimus

dorsi, adductors, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and  thoracic spine (trapezius and rhomboids).

It is accomplished to roll the foam roller under each muscle group until a tender area is found, and maintaining pressure on the tender areas (known as trigger points) for 30 to 60 seconds.

The equipment that is used for foam rolling usually consists of a foam cylinder of various sizes; commonly 12 inches long, 6 inches in diameter. However, longer foam rolls up to 36 inches in length are produced for rolling over certain muscles in the back. A variety of foam roller densities exist, often denoted by the color of the roller.

Those new to foam rolling, or those who have particularly tight muscles or severe trigger points often start with a softer foam roll. White rollers are typically softer, while blue and black rolls tend to be much firmer.


Tissue Massager

Foam rolling is a concept that has emerged within the last few years, and has hit the fitness world by storm. Foam RollersEssentially, foam rolling is a tissue massage, that can help ease pain and loosen knots in muscles. All that is necessary is a long round piece of foam, which can be picked up at nearly every health or fitness related store. By foam rolling on a daily basis, injuries and muscle pain can significantly decrease.

Fascia is a muscle tissue that provides protection and helps the body perform many daily functions. However, a build up of a type of Fascia tissue, known as Deep Fascia, can create tight knots in muscles that result in pain. Foam rolling helps reduce a large build up of deep Fascia, which helps loosen muscles and limit injuries.

Scar Tissue is what replaces damaged tissue in the body. It’s function is similar to healthy tissue, however the layout of fiber tissues is different. Scar tissue can limit the flexibility and movement of a muscle. A build up of scar tissue can result from a multitude of actions, but the result is always pain and a restriction in muscle movement.

To limit injuries such as these, it is crucial that one foam rolls. By adding this to your daily routine, the likelihood of injuries will decrease substantially. Simply, put miscellaneous parts of your body on the foam roller and roll the foam roller back and forth. This will help break down Fascia and scar tissue. It will remove knots and allow the muscles to heal and become stronger and more flexible.


Below are the major areas a foam roller will massage:


  • Glutes


Foam Roller Working Glutes










  • Calves

Foam Roller Working Calves










  • Hamstring

Foam Roller Working Hamstring









  • Back

Woman Using Foam Roller fo Her Back


What other benefits do you get out of a foam roller?

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