Have you heard of Myofascial Release? Here’s your cocktail party explanation: Fascia is a layer of tissue beneath the skin that connects, stabilizes, separates, and encloses muscles and internal organs. Think of it like the body’s saran wrap. Much like saran wrap, the fascia can get bundled up and knotted. And Myofascial release can help un-bundle those knots.
Foam Rolling is a form of Myofascial Release. Not only is it a cost-effective option, but it also offers other benefits. Here are five reasons you should start foam rolling:
1. Break down knots – Muscle knots are formed by tense muscle fibers which can cause pain and inhibit range of motion. Foam rolling on and around a knot can help loosen those tense fibers and relieve pain.
2. Help blood flow – Proper circulation is not only important for a healthy body, but also a healthy mind! Foam rolling can help improve your circulation, because it breaks down the tight spots where blood flow may be restricted.
3. Recover Faster – Because foam rolling helps blood flow, it can also help increase recovery. After working out, our bodies can produce waste like lactic acid. If you roll right after your swoll sesh, blood flow can help provide your muscles nutrients and wash away the lactic acid, which can help prevent soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
4. Improve Flexibility – Flexibility helps with range of motion and joint motion. It is important for proper body mechanics and injury prevention. Studies have found foam rolling is more effective than stretching before physical activity to assist people with their flexibility.
5. Prevent Injury – Tight muscles can prevent proper body mechanics. Meaning you may end up using incorrect muscles to help compensate with movement. This can result in both acute and chronic injuries. Rolling can help loosen up those tight muscles so you aren’t as sore and can avoid using the incorrect muscles.
The best way to start foam rolling is by not overthinking it. There’s no elegant way to roll. Just get your sore muscles on the foam and literally start rolling.
For less pressure, use less body weight or make sure you have equal weight distribution between both sides of your body. For more pressure, lean to one side or add more body weight. When you feel a tender spot, hold the roller there for at least 30 seconds to help break down the tight muscle fibers.