Some of you may have seen that round tube thing in the gym and wondered what it is. Well it’s a foam roll, and it’s used for a type of flexibility training known as self-myofascial release. As fancy as it sounds, it is pretty easy to understand how it works. Think of the muscle as a sausage (stay with me here). Now, the fascia is the sausage casing, a thick tissue that covers the muscle. Muscle fascia has been a recently new topic of discussion in the health and fitness world, and we have made A LOT of discoveries from it! One of those being that the fascia is a major cause of muscle tightness and inflexibility due to it’s tendancy to “bunch up” during muscle contraction and inability to return to its normal length. Unless of course you have a useful tool to help you. Enter: foam roll. That round tube thing in the corner of the gym can work wonders for your muscles once you know how to use it. If you can bear the temporary “hurts so good” kind of pain it is known to bring, you can look forward to both short term and long term results that will help you get one step closer to your fitness goals! Such as…
- Correction of muscle imbalances
- Reduction of “trigger point” pain
- Improved joint range of motion
- Reduced soreness
- Muscle Relaxation
- Faster recovery time
- Improved circulation
Now, many of these benefits will be subtle, slow changes that you may not notice initially. But with time and careful attention, you may begin to notice your workouts will feel easier, you will feel more coordinated, you won’t need as much time to recover from a session, and you will be more flexible! It may seem time consuming and a little painful, but the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. If you are serious about your fitness goals and taking the best possible care of your body, foam rolling is something that should be included in your routines.* Be on the lookout for a post about all the different movements for self-myofascial release!
*if you feel uncomfortable/unsafe with foamrolling, ask your trainer (or contact me) for other options that will have some of the same benefits. Safety first!