Finished an intense workout and suffering from a bad case of DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness)? Well hear is the answer to all of your problems…. foam rolling! Foam rolling is considered to be one of the most effective tools used for muscle recovery as well as a great way to prevent injury. Foam rollers are also one of the most popular tools used for SMR (self-myofascial release).
What is self-myofascial release?
Myofascial release is actually a technique used by therapists to release tension. Therapists would apply a low load throughout a long duration on soft tissue. This in turn will cause the body to release the tissue and mobility would be restored. Now the great thing about foam rolling is that it is a great alternative and much cheaper option than going to a therapist daily.
Lets talk muscles
To understand fully how foam rolling affects our body we need to understand these two terms: fascia and trigger points. Now, fascia is a specialized layer of connective tissue that provides support and protection to our muscles, joints and bones. There are three layers of fascia in our body: the superficial fascia, the deep fascia and subserous fascia. Fascia have the role of transmitting mechanical tension (which is usually generated from muscles). Now within the fascia, ‘trigger points’ can form within the connective tissue sheets.
Trigger points are areas of muscle that are very tender and painful upon palpation. We all know how that post-leg day workout pain feels when we try to sit down the next day (ouch).. The tissues can become tough and knoted. This can occur anywhere from actually in the muscle, to the muscle tendon, to the fat pad. Basically, trigger points in the fascia will end up restricting motion. Eventually this can lead to a decreased efficiency in performance which will result in premature fatigue and chronic pain. In other words… a gym rats worst nightmare! By foam rolling we can alleviate trigger points.
Benefits of foam rolling:
Relieves muscle tension– this is perfect after a hard, intense workout. I tend to foam roll 2-3 hours post workout to help prevent extreme DOMs the following day.
Increases blood flow– foam rolling will increase blood flow to your muscles which will improve the amount of oxygen that is delivered throughout your body during your workout.
Reduces cellulite (win!!)– Foam rollers aid with breaking up interwoven fat fibers and increases blood flow to these particular areas.
Recovery time is decreased– Foam rolling is great at helping our muscles repair. So at least when you wake up the following day you won’t have to dread the extreme pain and immobility.
Personally, I prefer to use a foam roller that has ridges compared to a smooth foam roller. You can purchase a foam roller from Amazon here
P.S. The other great thing about foam rollers is that they could also be incorporated in your workouts. I love to use them to engage my abdominal muscles in a core workout.
Here are some great ways you can incorporate a foam roller post workout to target specific muscles:
I am also pleased to announce that I am a Protime Fitness Ambassador! You can purchase the activewear I am wearing in my video from www.protimefitness.co.uk and you can get 20% OFF your order by using the code PTA-FitnessGeek20 🙂 Happy shopping!
Hope you guys find this helpful!