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Benefits of Foam Rolling

by Corinne Wilson

In recent years, foam rollers have started to fly off the selves. This new device has been praised by athletes and exercise fanatics all over the world, and as a result has gained a great deal of popularity. And for good reason. It's relatively cheap, easy to use, and really works! It’s not just for hardcore sportspersons. Everyone from a competitive runner to an average mom releasing a little strain from her busy day can benefit from rolling out, even as infrequently as every other week.

Foam rollers are very effective in reducing tension and lengthening muscles. Also known more formally as self-myofascial release (SMR), rolling is a great way to warm up before a workout or speed up recovery afterwards. Now let’s get to why they are so great. Here are four explicit benefits that you can get from using a foam roller:

  1. Lessen the risk of developing adhesion. If a muscle is held constantly in a certain position with no activity or is exhausted with repetitive motions, this will cause collagen to build up between skeletal muscle layers, further creating adhesions which inhibit muscle sheaths sliding against each other. The abrasion which happens during a rolling session can stop collagen from forming.

  2. Myofascial release can lessen tissue tension and muscle tightness. When adhesions are not tended to properly and form between tissue layers, they could potentially make muscles stay in the shortened position, thereby increasing stress on other muscles nearby with which it works and hamper joint movement. Foam rolling can mitigate tightness in muscles to increase range of motion and overall performance.

  3. Restore the balance of length-tension in the muscles. When your joint is in motion, numerous muscles are working in symphony with each other. If there is tightness in one part of tissue, this can cause muscles on the other side of the joint to lengthen. This creates an imbalance as your muscle will not be able to generate the correct force for optimal movement. Myofascial release will cut down tightness to correct the balance between muscles.

  4. Reduce soreness to boost recovery. Inflammation which ensues naturally during tissue-repair in combination with inactivity following exercise is a recipe for adhesions. Induced muscle tearing during exercises prompts fresh collagen to be created to restore damaged tissue. During this process, if tissue is not moved correctly, collagen can bind forming adhesions. Using a roller will reduce new collagen creating adhesions.

Increased blood flow, heat raised in targeted tissue, a feeling of relaxation, and psychological improvement are other honorable mentions for foam rolling benefits. All things considered, foam rolling is the way of the future and will help many people on their way to faster recovery.


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