Foam rollers have become increasingly popular within the last decade and for good reason. Most people start using foam rollers because they try their friend’s and like how soothing it is to use after a long and taxing exercise. However, there’s a lot more to it than just making you feel better. Foam rollers have a lot of health benefits to them, so let’s go over a couple of the many reasons why you should invest in one.
How does it work?
Autogenic inhibition is the process that occurs when you use a foam roller. This is essentially a fancy word for stretching. When your GTO (Golgi Tendon Organ) senses the tension from rolling over the foam roller, it reacts by allowing your muscles to lengthen. This can be done by massaging as well, but having a foam roller prevents the need to have your very own masseuse on hand before all your workouts.
Another way foam rollers work is by creating friction between the roller and your body, thus increasing the heat of your muscles, making them more pliable.
Reduce the risk of adhesions
When a muscle is held in one place for a long period of time, it starts to build layers of collagen binding between the muscles. This will create adhesions that can make it difficult to get the full function out of your muscles and create a lot of unnecessary friction. When you use a foam roller, it will help break down the adhesions and make you more flexible and comfortable.
Myofascial release is the process of applying light pressure to connective tissue to increase motion and reduce pain. Using a foam roller will contribute to this and ensure you have the best range of motion for your joints.
Using a foam roller after a workout will reduce muscle soreness. If you immediately stop muscle movements after a workout, you will most likely experience soreness or inflammation. The collagen buildup could bind to your muscle layers and create adhesion after some time of inactivity. This goes along with increasing blood flow. If you use a foam roller pre-workout, your blood flow will increase, in turn warming up your muscles. Just make sure you don’t use it for too long before a workout because it will desensitize the muscles, reducing their responsiveness and ability to contract.
Besides making you a more efficient and effective athlete, foam rollers will generally make you feel more comfortable and allow you to relax pre- and post-workout
Types of foam rollers
There are a lot of different types of foam rollers out there and you’ll need to choose one according to your needs.
- Soft-core foam rollers are softer and prevent pressure from being applied to one muscle group.
- Hard-core foam rollers have an outer surface the will apply more pressure to the target area.
- High-density foam rollers resist compression more easily.
- Textured foam rollers help to apply more pressure as you roll over them.
- Rolling sticks are often used by runners to reduce soreness in the hamstring or quads
- Vibrating foam rollers help to reduce tension as you move it over your muscles.
Whatever type of exercise you find yourself doing, foam rollers can be a great way to make your warmup and cooldown a little easier and help prevent soreness after a tough workout.
At Fitness Specialist, we believe in providing the high-quality gym equipment you need to create the home gym of your dreams. Read our other blogs or visit our shop to get started finding exercise equipment in Lubbock!