With increased knowledge of fitness equipment and how they can benefit you, over the last few years, foam rollers have made their way into the gym bags of pro athletes and general gym goers. This piece of equipment may not look like much, but the benefits can take your performance to the next level! This article covers the benefits of using a foam roller, specifically post-exercise, and why you should invest in one yourself.
What is a foam roller?
Now, for anyone who isn’t quite sure, a foam roller is typically a tube style piece of equipment that is made out of hard foam, or plastic, and can come in different levels of firmess. A foam roller can come in many shapes and sizes and has become a popular addition to many people’s workout routines.
Foam rollers can be used pre-exercise to warm up the muscles or post-exercise to ease soreness and the effects of DOMS. They work by stimulating blood flow to the muscles which can have many positive effects, such as improved flexibility & mobility and improved range of motion.
Foam rollers use a technique called self-myofascial release. If you don’t know what fascia is and why it needs to be released, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Fascia is the connective tissue that holds everything in our body together, and this often becomes inflamed or even torn during intense exercise. Luckily, our fascia can repair itself on its own, but to speed up the process, this is where your foam roller comes in.
Foam rolling and stretching
When in the gy, you’ll often see people using a foam roller or performing static stretches before and after exercise. Both of these techniques are effective as they loosen tight muscles, therefore decreasing the risk of injury. They can also improve your posture and ease general aches and muscle soreness.
We need loose and flexible muscles to maintain range of motion in the joints. Stretching really is an essential part of any training routine to improve muscular function and enhance your performance. While there are similar benefits to both foam rolling and stretching, foam rolling can be performed at any time of day and have the same benefits each time, whereas static stretching is most effective post-exercise. Foam rolling allows you to target muscle groups and certain areas that can’t be achieved through standard static stretches so it is important to consider both for your post-exercise routine.
Ideally, combining the two would be the best option – foam rolling first to loosen the muscles, which would then help you get a better stretch afterwards.
Where to get a foam roller?
Foam rollers come in many different shapes and sizes, here are a few of our favourites:
Pulseroll vibrating foam roller
An updated version of the standard foam roller, the Pulseroll vibrating foam roller utilises vibration technology to give the same results with the added benefit of not needing to physically roll! With this product, you’re able to achieve the same benefits just by turning on the vibrations and applying pressure.
MyProtein muscle roller
This is an ideal product for warm up and recovery using a deep tissue massage technique. It’s a standard hollow foam roller with grooves and bumps on its surface. If you’re looking for a simple yet effective foam roller, look no further.
A double roller may look like a gimmick, but the idea could actually be genius. It’s designed to release post-sweat tension in your back, arms, and legs. The Lululemon double roller gives you the option of how you would like to use it, making it slightly more customizable than a standard roller.
Using a foam roller post-exercise
If you’re looking for innovative ways to spice up your workout routine and want to dedicate more time to your pre and post-workout routines, a foam roller is the best way to go. With so many different and innovative options on the market, you’ve got a huge variety of products to choose from!