Foam rolling is also referred to as "self-myofascial release" which is a fancy way of saying "self-massage." Knots in muscles are also known as myofascial trigger points, small bits of hyper-tensed muscle which cause discomfort. A foam roller is an easy and effective way for you to massage out hard to reach tense areas of muscle which cause pain and tightness.
Below lists the top 8 benefits of foam rolling:
1. Releases tension
This goes for both tension in your mind and body. The act of rolling out these tight areas of muscle is soothing to our mind as much as it is the actual muscle, and you feel a sense of release in your brain from the act of releasing muscular tension.
2. Increases circulation
Foam rolling increases blood flow to tissues by breaking up the muscle knots that were blocking the flow. We want blood flow to muscle tissue because blood carries oxygen and nutrients to muscles so that they can recover from exercise faster and become stronger.
3. Increases range of motion
Foam rolling is an effective way to increase your range of motion by breaking up those tense areas of muscle, allowing the muscle to stretch farther and with greater ease. Increased range of motion improves balance, joint stability, and allows for greater muscle activation during exercise.
4. Decreases recovery time after a workout
Being able to recover from a workout quicker is key to prevent muscle breakdown and overuse of muscles. A foam roller helps to flush out lactic acid and other metabolic wastes that buildup in muscle tissue with exercise.
5. Saves you money
Foam rolling is a form of self massage, meaning it will decrease the amount of actual massages you will need to get. This is awesome for your wallet because a good massage does not come cheap, especially if you are getting frequent massages.
6. Decreases soreness
Foam rolling after a workout decreases delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. Muscle soreness is uncomfortable and can prevent you from working out for a few days.
7. Improves sleep
As discussed above, foam rolling relieves tension and prevents soreness in muscles. When your muscles are relaxed this allows your entire body to relax and allows for a more restful sleep. Try foam rolling for 10 minutes before sleep to relieve any aches or soreness to have a better sleep.
8. Prevents injury
Many injuries start with tight muscles and overuse of these tight muscles. Foam rolling after workouts keeps muscles nice and loose, which decreases the chance of injury.