5 Benefits Of Foam Rolling
They’re cheap, effective and durable. We have them at the gym, or maybe you’ve got your own. Still, are you getting the most out of your foam roller?
Without a doubt, foam rolling has made a huge difference in my life and those of my clients at HWTC. If you are not foam rolling, you need to start immediately. And, if you are foam rolling, you need to be doing more of it.
Foam rolling is also known as SMR (Self Myofasical Release). A little patience, technique and a few minutes are all you need to loosen stiff muscles, help your body recover, or flush out toxins after a hard workout. There are many different ways that you can foam roll, and a variety of techniques you can use.
Here Are 5 Benefits Of Foam Rolling
Benefit 1-Help Improve Your Current Injuries
After 20 years of lifting weights, my body has a lot of mileage on it, and a lot of injuries and wear and tear. Many years ago, I hurt my back deadlifting too much weight. It set me back in my training and in my life in general for years. I was constantly in pain and constantly waking up stiff and sore. Even putting on my socks was a nightmare.
Once you get an injury, your body will tend to “lock down,” by stiffening up the area surrounding the injury. The tissue will act to guard and protect that area. This is good in the short term, but in the long run this will mean you will start having issues with proper movement, including problems with mobility & flexibility. This is how an injury turns into a constant problem.
This problem can be greatly reduced by foam rolling! By improving the tissue quality around injuries, you will increase blood flow to the area, loosen things and just feel damn awesome. Yes it will hurt at first, but a few minutes of temporary pain will make a huge difference in the rest of your life.
Benefit 2 -Reduce the Chance of Injury
Injuries suck. Trust me, I know.
The best way to deal with an injury? Don’t get one at all.
The best way to avoid injury is by keeping muscles pliable. When movement breaks down, injuries occur at a much higher rate. That’s why with every client I train, the first thing I do is try to help them move better. Once their movement is improving, then I start adding weight to help build strength. Without good movement, I don’t add weight. This is because improper movement is an injury waiting to happen.
To avoid injuries and help to stay flexible in your movements, spend 15-20 minutes every day doing soft tissue work. This will keep the mobility of the joints on track and help to undo some of the damage we do to ourselves through daily life.
Benefit 3 – Improve Blood Circulation Through Skin, Muscle & Tendons
Foam rolling helps smooth out obstructions and break down adhesions. This helps to increase the blood-flow within the muscle.
By foam rolling, you improve tissue quality, tendon quality, and improve blood flow throughout muscles, tendons, skin and more. Overall, foam rolling daily will make a huge difference in your movement and your circulation.
Benefit 4 -Help Calm the Nervous System
I got this one from my friend and one of the top authorities I know on foam rolling, Dean Somerset.
Foam rolling actually helps to calm the nervous system. This is important as we live in a jacked up world! All day long, we are in “GO” mode. Between work stress, pre-workouts, caffeinated drinks and stressful lifestyles, our CNS (Cental Nervous System) is constantly in a hyped up state. Not good. This can lead to overall stress on the body, adrenal fatigue, exhaustion and depression.
I find that foam rolling for 30-60 minutes before bed makes a huge difference in relaxation and quality of sleep. When I wake up, I feel and move much better.
For more info check out this blog post by dean somerset.
Benefit 5- Get STRONGER & Lift Heavy Weights
Ok, I am all for feeling better, moving better, having a better quality of life and everything else. But, come the end of the day, you know what makes me happy: LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS.
For many years, because of injuries, I simply couldn’t lift heavy. My training was limited, and every time I trained heavy, I just got hurt and the cycle repeated.
By foam rolling daily, working on mobility drills, assessing muscle imbalances and some tweaks to my training, I am back to being stronger than every and feeling amazing. At almost 40 with a laundry list of injuries, this makes me HAPPY.
Foam roll every day, or every night, or between sets…just make sure you are foam rolling daily to improve tissue quality, boost recovery, prevent injuries, sleep better, and of course to LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS.
For some recommended reading check out these articles => How To Foam Roll, Why Fascia Is Necessary & Why Caring For It Is Important, Stretching Doesn’t Work.
Rob’s Note : For the best foam rollers and soft tissue accessories check out Trigger Point Therapy.