Foam rolling is a form of Self-Myofascial Release (SMR). Most commonly used by Physical Therapist and athletes for over reactive muscles. Its main function is to loosen tight muscles or relieve soreness which can inhibit you from maxing out your everyday routine.
Foam rolling is a form of soft tissue therapy which focuses on the fascia (nerves and connective tissues). Improper mobility and overusing of your muscles causes the fascia and muscle fibers to knot, these knots will cause poor blood circulation on that area and can cause soreness.
Here's the TOP 3 benefits of foam rolling:
1. Improves flexibility and range of motion - Foam rolling will help stretch your muscles, when the muscles are well stretched it will store more energy. This energy can maximize your workout and/or performance, minus the pain and the soreness from the muscle knots.
2. Improves circulation - While the "knotted muscles" are getting untied, blood and oxygen will flow properly into your muscle. Foam rolling is not only for gym goers and athletes but now being used by therapist for several conditions including people with a "Desk Job" experiencing back pain.
3. Prevents injuries - Since foam rolling promotes elasticity and flexibility of the muscles, and good circulation too - the chances of injuries is lower than those who do not foam roll.
When would be the best time to use the foam roller?
As long as you use the foam roller properly, anytime would be the best time. However, studies shown that it is recommended to use the foam roller before (as a form of stretching to increase flexibility and avoid injury) and after (to improve blood circulation and promote faster muscle recovery) a workout, as a part of warming up and cooling down. I also recommend foam rolling before bedtime, as it relaxes your muscles and reduces your stress, hence promoting good sleep too.
Foam rolling can be very useful, whether you are an athlete, a gym warrior or just feel like you need to stretch more.
Most of the injuries occur because of over exertion or over using of your muscles. With right exercise and proper usage of this equipment, your probability of having these injuries will be slim.
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