When in doubt, roll it out! First introduced as a method for training runners, the foam roller has been adopted by most anyone who exercises! It’s a favorite tool of many to help relieve soreness and provide alternate ways of lengthening muscles.
Here are some of the basic benefits of foam rolling:
Increased Blood Flow
Rolling out the sore muscle will increase blood flow which will, in turn, bring more oxygen to the sore areas. This is how the rolling aspect helps to heal sore muscles.
Rolling, accompanied with regular stretching, will lengthen muscles. This also helps increase range of motion as there will be less tension on the muscle around the joints. Loose muscles will allow for at least a temporary period of increased flexibility. Use this opportunity, when your muscles are warm, to stretch out and improve your flexibility overall.
Tight muscles are a surefire way to injure yourself. Rolling them out will help for a quicker recovery period and will likely provide lasting relief if it becomes part of your regular routine. Good places to roll for this particular purpose is the IT Band, Achilles tendon, and your back. Sometimes you may not realize how tight some muscles are and you surely don’t want to over-work them constantly. Rolling is a good way to help manage this.
Rolling can prove quite meditative and relaxing depending on your environment and possible music choice. For best results, start rolling slowly and when you come across a tight area, focus the rolling and pressure there. Some may prefer to roll out before bed to relax along with some yoga to get all the stretching and relaxing in.
Add it to your pre/post-workout or nighttime routine to stretch out and relax!