Are your muscles tired, aching and sore after getting a good workout? You may want to find a way to ease the discomfort you feel, post-workout. A foam roller can help relieve the pain you feel and be a great pre and post-workout tool. If you are thinking about how to prevent muscle soreness after your workout, read on to find out how a foam roller might be of good use to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Muscle Pain Relief
A study of eight male participants who used a foam roller for 20 minutes immediately after exercise found that it reduced the muscle soreness they feel every time they finish working out.
We sometimes overuse or injure our muscle tissues due to the intensity of our daily activities. Even our inactivity could cause them to shorten or reduce their mobility. Using a foam roller solves this problem by easing our muscle’s soreness and reducing its inflammation. Foam rollers allow built-up scar tissues to be broken up and simultaneously increase blood circulation to our muscular tissues, enabling more nutrients and oxygen to enter our muscles. This then results in our muscles feeling better.
Increased Range of Motion
Weak mobility is often the result of the shortening of your muscles that in turn causes the formation of muscular trigger points or knots. Shortened muscles obviously decrease your range of movement, while trigger points cause you pain and muscular fatigue. Foam rolling induces static stretching of your muscles that returns it to its natural form, allowing you to increase your range of motion and ease the pain.
Back Pain Relief
As a foam roller is very beneficial in relieving the stresses in your muscles, it does well in easing pressure from your back too. Back pain can be due to poor posture, gravity, and other external influences that can put too much strain on your lower back. When exercising using a foam roller for your back, make sure that you are placing it vertically to align with your spine. Don’t roll on your back with the foam roller with it positioned horizontally against it as this would cause you to arch and further strain it.
Improved Blood and Oxygen Circulation
When our muscle tissues become too tight, it restricts the flow of blood in and out of our muscles, limiting oxygen and nutrients to the areas. Foam rollers unbind this tension and allow more space for our blood to enter and deliver sufficient oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. Having enough blood levels, oxygen, and nutrients circulating throughout our body improves our general wellbeing and helps us cope more efficiently with the everyday stresses we subject our bodies to.
Self-massage with foam rollers can be another way to reduce stress. Taking the time to soften and release tense muscles gently can help you be in a state of relaxation and comfort. There’s never been a more soothing way to calm your bodyaches than to relieve yourself of some of the constrictions you feel within your body. Additionally, a foam roller can be an excellent post-workout therapy for reducing strains created by the repeated process of subjecting your muscles to constant resistance. When you use a foam roller after any physical activity, it helps bring down your cortisol, which can provide a gentle and relaxing self-massage.
Smooth Foam Roller
This is the least painful out of all types of foam rollers and is ideal for first-time users. They are soft and are made of low-density foam so they can provide a more relaxing self-massage. Smooth rollers are the foam rollers to choose when you want to use it for exercise classes or after an intense workout and your muscles are sore.
Textured Foam Roller
These are the foam rollers that mimic the hands of your masseuse as there are ridges, knobs, or balls that can precisely target the knots of your muscles. Different types of textures of the foam rollers are offered for varying pressures to be applied. The bumps created by textured foam rollers intensify the massage effect and can target multiple knots in the same area. This is recommended for more advanced users that are used to constant medium to high pressures on their muscles.
Short Foam Roller
These rollers are about half the average length of the regular foam rollers since it is designed for convenience when massaging intricate curves of your body like your shoulders or calves. They are easy to manoeuvre and a little unwieldy. They are also easier to store because of their reduced length.
Vibrating Foam Roller
Vibrating foam rollers provide more effectiveness as a deep tissue massager due to its vibration technology. It minimises the pain you feel, but it also performs deep tissue massage using textured foam rollers that produce vibration. You can also spend less time using the foam roller as it relaxes your muscles rapidly than the typical ones. However, it is much pricey than the other types but can give you more edge in your foam rolling experience.