Should you add foam rolling to your workout routine?
Just a few minutes of rolling can help make your muscles more receptive to stretching and relieve muscle soreness, too.
Working out regularly will help you hold on to your flexibility, mobility, and independence. And using a simple tool may improve this grip on fitness by priming the muscles and making your workouts more effective.
The tool is called a foam roller. It looks like a fat tube or a bolster pillow for a bed. To use it, you slowly roll an area of your body – like your upper back, hips, or calves – back and forth across the top of the roller.
“Foam rolling seems to make muscles more receptive to stretching and moving. It's the best thing I've found to make people feel better immediately in the 25 years I've been doing this,” says Michael Bento, a personal trainer at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Foam rollers have many advantages. They should be used in your home gym to get their benefits. The remarkable advantages include:
Increase blood flow: With the help of foam rolling exercise and stretching there is my official release so the squeezed out blood is replaced by the fresh blood. As the blood carries vital nutrients and they nourish the area.
Improved movements: Looser muscles are more suitable for movements so during exercise the muscles get softer and there is less chances of muscle damage.
Increased Range of motion: Smoother muscles helps in increasing the range of motion. Flexibility also increases the range of motion which is the benefit of foam roller.
Reduced injury risks: Self massage increases the blood flow in the body and good blood flow makes the muscle better so there is low risk of muscle injury.
Decrease Recovery Time: With the increased blood flow the amount of nutrition also increased. The substances involved in the healing process may also easily transported to the site of injury and help in early healing.
Types of foam rollers
The most common foam rollers are cylinders made of firm, compressed foam. The rollers are usually six inches in diameter, range from 12 to 36 inches long.
Foam rollers come in different styles: some have bumps or ridges on them, some have gel inserts you can put in the freezer, and some vibrate. Rollers are also available in varying levels of firmness, color-coded to reflect whether they are soft (white), medium (red, blue, or green), or hard (black).
You can also find smaller massage rollers with handles (like a rolling pin), which you can roll on various parts of your body (like the top of your thighs), and foam ball rollers that you can use while standing (just place the ball between you and a wall, lean against it, and move your body over it).