Ready to roll?
Foam rolling is one of the fitness trends that has taken off in the last few years. Pro athletes rave about the benefits of foam rolling, but what are the basics that you should know before you begin using a foam roller?
Take a look below to find out the basics of foam rolling:
Who invented the foam roller?
Foam rollers were first used in the 1980s, with physical therapist Sean Gallagher listed as the first to begin using foam rollers as self massage tools in 1987. Foam rollers quickly became popular in dance communities and other therapists began to use them as an exercise tool for balance and muscle strengthening.
Since 2009, foam rollers have been linked to fascia training, a type of training that is focused on improving the connective tissues in the body (tendons, ligaments etc.).
How does a foam roller work?
A foam roller allows you to add pressure to specific points on your body, to work out any painful knots in your muscles. Your muscles should be soft so ignoring knots in your muscles could lead to a loss of flexibility and a restriction of movement.
Self-myofascial release (or a self massage) enables the blood flow to return to normal so the muscle can begin recovering. Foam rollers can be very useful during physiotherapy as they can aid in the restoration of healthy muscle tissue.
When should I foam roll?
There’s no definitive information on either foam rolling before or after a workout, so it’s up to you to decide when you think it’s best to use your foam roller. Some say that foam rolling before exercising can help to prevent injuries, whereas others argue that a foam roller should be used after a workout as it has a relaxing effect on your muscles.
What exercises can I do with a foam roller?
You can use a foam roller before or after your workout, or you can use it as part of your workout. Take a look at our blog ‘Get Flexible With 4 Killer Foam Roller Exercises’ to find out how you can incorporate a foam roller into your workouts!
What are the benefits of foam rolling?
Foam rolling can increase your range of motion and can improve the flexibility of your muscles as the movement relaxes your muscles. Through foam rolling, you can increase the blood flow to your muscles, therefore decreasing your muscle recovery time. You can control how much pressure that you apply during foam rolling, helping you to relieve sore muscle tension.