Foam rolling is a form of massage that helps to stretch muscles and tendons and breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. These are simple exercises done to perform your own self massage or myofascial release, ‘myo’ meaning muscle and ‘fascia’ meaning band, doing this will break up trigger points and soothe tight fascia, which in turn will stimulate blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues. The fascia surrounds, infuses and protects every tissue, tendon, bone, muscle, ligament and organ of the body, so making sure that you foam roll to release the fascia will help with recovery.
The benefits of using a foam roller can be cost, not that a foam roller could ever replace a sports massage but when you can use a foam roller at the gym for free instead of paying £30+ for a single session it is definitely a great alternative until payday. Convenience is another benefit as you can do this at home, in the office or at the gym which means you won’t be spending any of your time going out of your way to visit a massage therapist. Because foam rollers are available at most gyms they are an inexpensive method of achieving self massage, helping you recover faster and it only takes 10-15 minutes maximum.
You can perform foam rolling either before a gym session as part of your warm up as this will help release any aches or pains from the days before and will also stretch your muscles out ready for the session that you have planned so there will be no untimely injuries or strains. Alternatively you could foam roll after a strenuous gym session as you tend to build up lactic acid in the muscles, lactic acid is what causes the pain and cramps associated with strenuous exercise, so using the foam roller after a workout which you could consider as a cool down will help break down the lactic acid build-up and give you an all over massage at the same time.
So next time you finish your leg session you should probably consider foam rolling especially if you have ever experienced DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
So put a foam roller on your Santa list and get rolling..