Have you ever used a foam roller and do you actually know, why foam rolling could be super beneficial for you? Especially if you suffer from chronic back pain and workout on a regular basis. In this article we present the 6 main reasons, why you would add foam rolling to your workout routine and your daily life.
How Does a Foam Roller Work?
Over the past couple of years foam rolling became very popular in gyms, offices of physical therapists, and even at home. Wherever you go, people are using them as part of their warm-up or cool-down when working out. A lot of runners love it especially. No wonder, there are many studies that confirm the benefits of using a foam roller. So how does it work?
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique that helps with muscle tightness, soreness, inflammation, and increases range of motion. You can use a foam roller on your back, thighs, or wherever you feel muscle tightness and massage it out. This might not always be pleasant and can hurt a little, but foam rolling is truly beneficial and should become a part of your routine. If you are not convinced yet that you need a foam roller in your life, you should read on, because foam rolling really helps…
1. To Relieve Back Pain
One of the main issues a lot of people use foam rolling for is back pain. Indeed, it can help ease tension and pain, however, it is important to take good care when using it on your back. It is very easy to strain or injure it further, so ask a physical therapist or your trainer at the gym for instructions.
If you want to use it on your lower back, make sure you turn it vertical, so it is in-line with your spine. Then slowly roll it from side to side. Never use it horizontal though, because it can strain your back even more by arching it. There are also foam massage balls that you can use on your back or a simple (and cheaper) tennis ball. They especially work great if you have muscle knots, that you would like to massage out.
2. To Reduce The Appearance of Cellulite
This one is especially interesting for women: Foam rolling can decrease the appearance of cellulite. That is because it helps to break up your fascia. They are the body’s connective tissues and play a huge part in the appearance of cellulite. However, foam rolling only helps to smooth out your skin temporarily, so it is not a secret weapon long term. If you really want to get rid of your cellulite permanently, you should change your diet and work out accordingly.
3. To Increase Your Range of Motion
Do you struggle with your range of motion due to tightness? Then foam rolling can help improve your flexibility. A small study from 2015 with athletes was able to prove that static stretching and foam rolling combined are most effective to increase range of motion.
Admittedly, more research is needed to prove that this really is the case. But since stretching should be a regular part at the beginning or end of your workout routine anyway, it sure cannot hurt adding foam rolling to it. As long as you do it right and follow the instructions of your trainer.
4. To Manage Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Are you suffering from fibromyalgia? It is a condition that causes pain all over your body, fatigue, emotional distress, and can lead to sleep problems. Therefore, people with fibromyalgia are more prone to pain. Using a foam roller can help manage these issues, at least if you do it regularly. At this point researchers are still studying if and how foam rolling can help with the condition. But it looks very promising.
5. To Relax After a Strenuous Workout
If your workout routine is very strenuous, you might want to relax your body and mind with a foam roller afterwards. It can help break down the tightness in your muscles and may help prevent some soreness. Even after a long stressful day at the office, where you were sitting for a long period of time, foam rolling can help you unwind.
6. Most Importantly: To Ease Muscle Pain
If your muscles are sore, then foam rolling can ease the pain and reduce inflammation. Especially right after exercising, 20 minutes are most beneficial to get the full effect. If you add it regularly to the end of your workout routine, you will also see your performance increase, according to different smaller studies.
Foam rolling is actually a kind of self-massage. But sometimes you might want to get pampered by a professional massage therapist. Treat yourself with RLAX and enjoy a spa-like massage in the comfort of your own home. We deliver mobile massage all over Thailand. Book your first appointment right now and get convinced to RLAX.