Exercise: How Does Foam Rolling Work And What Are Its Benefits?

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In This Health and Science Article, We Will Explore How Foam Rolling Works As An Exercise  And What The benefits of such a workout are to you.

In recent years, foam rolling has become a pre-workout and post-workout essential. The stretching section of gyms is stocked with all sorts of rollers, from plain styrofoam to Rumble Rollers that have sharp nubs. And if you take a personal training session, you may even experience the fabled vibrating roller. So what’s the science behind foam rolling and does it actually work? Let’s take a deeper look.

The science behind foam rolling

If you don’t know, a foam roller works almost like a kitchen rolling pin. The big difference is that instead of flattening out dough, you’d use a foam roller to stretch out tendons in your back, legs or other areas of tightness.

Depending on how often and when you foam roll, studies show that it can improve flexibility, circulation, and athletic performance. But it can also just be a simple, cheap way to do some self-massage.

The theory is that roam rolling loosens up the membrane surrounding muscle tissue and this makes the muscle fibers less stiff. The pressure and movement of the roller acts like someone massaging your tissue and this movement increases circulation. For these reasons, foam rolling is a good way to warm-up before working out, as opposed to doing traditional stretches, which have been shown to decrease performance.

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Additionally, foam rolling after a workout keeps muscles loose as they cool down. This can help with the soreness most people experience the next day. 

How to get started

If you want to try foam rolling, it’s best to get some help and guidance. Certain regions of the body, like your lower back, are not suitable for rolling, and doing so can result in injury. Other body parts, like the side of your thigh, have no muscles, so they are also bad places to roll. In fact, the strip on the inside of your thigh, called the IT band, is not a muscle but rather a large piece of connective tissue. The pain you will feel from rolling this area is your body’s way of telling you to stop.

All of this is to say, ask a professional or do a little research. Expert foam rollers can show you techniques and methods on how to properly roll. 

Pain isn’t gain, in this case

In short, foam rolling shouldn’t be a painful, arduous activity that you add to your gym routine. It should enhance your workout, make your recovery easier, and generally improve your well-being. While there might be some discomfort at first as your stiff muscles relax and loosen up (you should be able to feel them twitch as they release), rolling should relieve stress. There is no upside to “rolling through the pain.”

 

Now that we have shared this critical Health and Science Article on Foam Rolling And Its Benefits, You Will Tap Into It. Good Luck

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