If you’ve been into a gym or a sporting goods store, you’ve likely seen a foam roller, and possibly wondered about its purpose. Foam rolling can actually be as effective as a pre-workout warm-up to loosen up the muscles, as well as a post-exercise active recovery.
Just a few reasons to think about incorporating foam rolling:
- The pressure applied during foam rolling can help increase blood flow and alleviate tightness in the involved tissue. Use of a foam roller helps to loosen the muscles and increase range of motion (ROM) and flexibility, which can be particularly important prior to a challenging workout.
- The improved blood flow and ROM gained from foam rolling also means being able to move more safely and effectively during exercise, reducing the risk of injury from improper movement.
- Post-exercise, muscles can become sore due to the buildup of waste products, and foam rolling is an effective means to draw fresh, nutrient-rich blood to those tissues to promote faster recovery.
Points to keep in mind:
- Foam rollers generally provide the greatest response when placing a body-part directly on top of the roller and moving rhythmically to apply pressure to the underlying tissues – take the time to slowly roll through any knots or areas of tightness.
- This is strictly a soft tissue exercise: be sure to avoid rolling over any bones or joints.
- Be careful to distinguish between DOMS and an impending injury, which will tend to linger and be sharper in nature.
Feel free to visit our website, here to learn more about fitness programs at Dedham Health or tour our fitness center and get to rolling!
-Evelyn, Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health