In today’s article, we’re going to be taking a look at several important foam roller benefits.
Foam rollers have become hugely popular over the years, and in today’s article, we’re going to explore why that is.
If you’re regularly involved in exercise and physical exertion, you’ll often find yourself feeling tired, sore, and aching after a tough workout.
A little muscle soreness is good, but if you’re uncomfortable, or even in pain, there could be an undiagnosed underlying reason for your pain and discomfort that will need addressing.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when exercising, is failing to warm up and stretch before they begin training.
Failing to warm up and stretch will not only put you at a much greater risk of injury, but it could also result in your athletic performance suffering as a result.
Something as simple as a tube of foam could literally make all the difference when it comes to injury prevention and athletic performance.
Here’s a look at what foam rollers are before we look at 15 important foam roller benefits.
What Are Foam Rollers?
If you’ve never heard of a foam roller before then you’re most definitely in the minority.
Foam rollers are commonly found in gyms, rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, and even in people’s homes.
To look at a foam roller, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was something a small child would play with at preschool.
Foam rollers are basically cylindrical tubes of foam that are designed to be rolled on.
Some of them are smooth, whereas others are denser and have grooves and bumps to really get into those hard-to-reach areas.
Basically, the idea is that you roll on the foam roller with various parts of your anatomy, and use them to give you the equivalent of a deep tissue massage.
Important Foam Roller Benefits
Right, now that we’ve looked at the incredibly intricate designs of foam rollers, it’s now time for us to take a look at what it is that makes foam rollers so popular and so beneficial.
Key benefits include:
1. Saves You Money
The basic premise behind the benefits we’re looking at today is the fact that foam rollers essentially provide you with deep tissue massage effects.
They’re designed to mimic the effects of deep tissue massage, yet people often question why they should foam roll when they can just get a deep tissue massage.
Getting a sports massage or another form of deep tissue massage from a trained masseuse is very beneficial, but it’s also very expensive.
People will get one of these massages a week if they’re lucky, and they certainly don’t come cheap.
Foam rollers, however, can be used by you anywhere, at any time, meaning you get to enjoy the benefits of regular sports massages, for a very small fraction of the cost.
On the subject of benefits when it comes to money, another great benefit of a foam roller is the fact that they’re so affordable.
As we mentioned, they’re basic in design as they are basically just reinforced tubes of foam, but boy are they effective!
Because the materials are so cheap, and because the design is so basic, foam rollers can be sold to the general public for very affordable prices.
A foam roller can generally be purchased for less money than it would cost for two cups of coffee from a tax-avoiding coffee franchise.
3. Improve Circulation
If you suffer from poor circulation, foam rollers will do wonders for your overall levels of blood flow in the body.
Foam rolling has been found to encourage blood flow and to speed up circulation.
This allows for more oxygen-rich blood to flow around the body, plus it also helps to prevent high blood pressure and other circulatory-related health issues.
4. Improved Athletic Performance
Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts will foam roll before they begin training.
But why is that?
Well, in terms of athletic performance, foam rolling actually offers many benefits.
To begin with, foam rolling helps to improve circulation, which means more oxygen can be carried around the body and be delivered to the cells.
The more oxygen the cells have, the more energy they have, and the more energy they can produce.
This means that your muscles can work much harder than usual, and for longer durations of time.
On top of that, foam rolling also helps to improve mobility and flexibility, which also helps offer certain unique athletic performance-boosting benefits.
5. Great For Muscle Fascia
One of the main benefits you’ll find on our list today is all to do with a process known as SMR.
SMR stands for ‘Self Myofascial Relief’.
Any form of physical exertion results in fascia forming within the body.
Fascia is a type of connective tissue that forms a very thin layer all around your muscles.
It is designed to offer protection to the muscles.
The problem is that if you develop too much muscle fascia, it can hinder muscle hypertrophy, and muscle performance and development.
Too much fascia will also affect your overall range of motion.
Foam rolling is beneficial because it helps to gently break down muscle fascia, helping to free up the muscles and increase their performance and overall ranges of motion.
6. Breaks Down Scar Tissue
One of the main reasons why people go to visit professional sports masseuses is because sports massages and deep tissue massages help to break down scar tissue.
Scar tissue can form after injury, or as a result of intense training.
When weightlifting, for example, you are essentially breaking down your muscle tissue, which means that it is technically injured, and scar tissue can form.
When this occurs, it can result in a limited range of motion, as well as pain and discomfort.
Key benefits include the fact that foam rolling has been found to help break down scar tissue in and around the muscles.
7. Eases Pain And Discomfort
If you don’t suffer from any form of joint pain or discomfort, then think yourself very lucky.
Most of us experience at least some form of aching or discomfort on a regular basis, and usually, it affects the muscles or the joints.
If you suffer from back pain, for example, a foam roller could help to improve your pain and discomfort exponentially as it could break down scar tissue and fascia, it could massage sore and tense muscles, and it could even help to free up pinched or trapped nerves.
If you suffer from any form of pain or discomfort, if you make an effort to target that specific part of the anatomy with a foam roller, you’ll be amazed by what a difference it makes.
8. Easy To Use
Let’s face it, when it comes to exercise, anatomy and human physiology in general, most pieces of gym and exercise equipment are quite difficult to master.
If it’s not syncing the device to your phone or tablet that’s the issue, it’s mastering proper form and technique.
Thankfully, when it comes to foam rolling, as effective as the process is, foam rolling itself is incredibly easy to do.
Basically, you simply select the part of the anatomy you wish to work on and roll it up and down the roller.
There are, of course, plenty of exercises and tips online to help get you started, so do your research and find which ones will work best for you.
9. Increase Your Mobility
Ever noticed how some people are incredibly nimble and agile, yet others struggle to bend down and tie their shoelaces?
It all comes down to flexibility and mobility.
If you suffer from poor flexibility, the benefits we’re about to look at are particularly useful.
You see, when you foam roll, you’re helping to break down muscle fascia and relieve tension and knots in the tissue.
The more you breakdown, the greater your levels of mobility and flexibility will become.
10. Great For The Back
Although with a foam roller you can use it anywhere on your body, people that suffer from back issues and back complaints often find themselves benefitting the most from foam rolling.
This is because foam rollers help to break down knots in the back and relieve tension and free up trapped or pinched nerves.
Back issues are common for a number of reasons. It could be due to your training, or it could be due to your seating.
Not having adequate lumbar support is a big factor when it comes to back issues. Whatever your complaints maybe, if you do experience back pain or discomfort, foam rolling will work wonders.
11. Speed Up Recovery
When you exercise, the recovery-based side of things is arguably just as important as the training itself.
If muscle growth is your goal for example, you will only build muscle if your body is able to adequately recover after training.
If you aren’t recovering right you won’t be building muscle.
What’s especially beneficial about foam rolling is the fact that it helps to speed up post-workout recovery.
This means that you will potentially build more muscle, you’ll experience less pain and discomfort, and you’ll be less likely to suffer from an injury.
Perhaps one of the lesser appreciated benefits on our list today is the fact that foam rollers are so incredibly convenient.
They are literally just small tubes of foam that are designed to be used anywhere, at any time.
A foam roller is very light in weight so you can throw it in your gym bag and take it with you to train at the gym.
You can take them to work, away with you on vacation, on business trips, basically, you can use them anywhere you like.
13. Great For Warming Up And Cooling Down
As we touched upon earlier, when you exercise it’s vital to ensure that you take the time to adequately warm-up before training, and stretch.
This not only helps to prevent injury, but it will also help you to get more from your workouts.
After exercising, cooling down is equally as important.
If you incorporate foam rolling into your warm-up routines, and cooling down routines, you’ll find that you perform better when you train, you’ll be less likely to get an injury, you’ll recover quicker, and you’ll feel better.
14. Feel Better
On the subject of feeling better, when discussing benefits, we should also mention the fact that foam rolling is a process that will simply lift your spirits, improve your mood, and make you feel much better in the process.
It hurts when you foam roll, there’s no denying that, but it’s good pain and afterward you’ll be so glad that you did it.
Foam rolling will help to ease pain and discomfort, it’ll increase blood flow and oxygen flow so you’ll have more energy and be more alert, you’ll be more flexible and agile, and you’ll just feel better in yourself.
Yes, when it comes to lifting the spirits, a foam roller is a small and simple gadget that makes an enormous difference.
15. Improved Balance
Foam rollers are quite thin, so for some stretches, you will need to balance on them to get the most from the exercise.
This is actually a great way of increasing your balance.
And with that, now is probably a good time to wrap this article up.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article looking at the various foam roller benefits you could enjoy if you decide to use a foam roller, and if so, be sure to pick one sooner rather than later.
Foam rolling is tough, but it’s worth the effort, especially in the long run.