Are there Benefits to Foam Rolling?

How much do you know about foam rolling? An effective way to release muscle tension, it can be a good pre-workout tool, especially if you’ve got leftover tension from your last workout. It can also be extremely helpful after you finish exercising, to keep you from feeling so sore over the next few days. Even if you just have aches and pains from sitting or standing too much, foam rolling can be good for you. Let’s examine some of the benefits of foam rolling.

Foam rolling can ease muscle pain. Using a foam roller is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that can alleviate muscle tightness as well as reduce soreness and inflammation. There is some evidence that foam rolling after working out reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness and improves the ability to perform physical workouts.

Using a foam roller may increase your range of motion. More research is needed, but there is evidence to indicate that when adolescent athletes used a combination of foam rolling and static stretching, their range of motion was effectively increased. However, to determine the extent of the connection between foam rolling and range of motion, a more diverse group of people should be studied.

You may be able to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite using a foam roller. There are claims from providers of some foam rolling products stating the products loosen and break up fascia, the connective tissues in which contribute to the appearance of cellulite. However, while this may work temporarily, there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that cellulite can be reduced permanently through foam rolling. Reducing cellulite can be accomplished through a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

A foam roller can be used to alleviate back pain. Just as SMR can alleviate tension in the rest of the body, it can also help with back pain. The best way to relieve lower back pain is to lie with the foam roller vertically, in line with your spine and slowly roll from side to side. It can also be effective to lie on a foam massage ball or tennis ball if you need to work out some knots in your back.

People living with fibromyalgia may find some relief through foam rolling. SMR techniques like foam rolling have been shown to alleviate pain intensity, fatigue, stiffness and depression for people with fibromyalgia, as well as an increased range of motion. More research is needed, but the studies completed so far seem promising.

Foam rolling may help you relax. Because it breaks up muscle tightness, foam rolling may help you feel calmer and less tense. Though there’s no scientific evidence that foam rolling promotes relaxation, many people find it relaxing. If you think it might help you relax, you might as well give it a try. Foam rolling is safe unless you have a serious injury like a muscle tear or break. It is also best not to roll over small joints like your knees, elbows and ankles, instead rolling the larger parts of your limbs and avoiding the joints.

If you need help learning to use a foam roller safely, ask a trainer at your fitness club for assistance. At the Wellbridge Athletic Clubs, we offer world-class training in which keeps up to date with the latest in health and wellness. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join us today or contact us to learn more.