Have you been told that you should use a foam roller after your workouts? Maybe you’ve got a friend who swears by them. Maybe it’s your personal trainer who brought it up. This weird cylinder has become a pretty big deal in the fitness world.
Here are my thoughts on why you should use a foam roller.
Why You Should Use a Foam Roller – The Science
I’ll start by talking about the research behind why you’d want to use a foam roller. A study published in The Journal of Athletic Training showed that when people use them after a workout, the risk of soreness up to 72 hours later greatly decreases. The reason is that it helps to stop your muscles from tightening up. It also keeps muscles more hydrated.
So even though they just seem like a hunk of rounded foam, they are actually worth the surprisingly high price tag. If you use them for a couple of days after every workout (which may mean you’re using it every day), you’ll treat your muscles better. You won’t feel as sore and you’ll recover faster so you’ll be able to get back into exercising that muscle group.
Why You Should Use a Foam Roller Meant for Muscles
There is a difference between trying to use a foam roller and using a cylinder of foam. Therefore, if you think you can outsmart the world by using a pool noodle, you’re wrong. That said, I still recommend hanging on to that pool noodle because they’re still fun when you head to a pool party.
Back on topic: when you use a foam roller actually meant for post-workout muscle therapy, it’s a surprisingly specialized piece of equipment. It looks like little more than a short fat pool noodle, but there’s more to it than that.
Foam rollers are made of EVA foam. Make sure when you use a foam roller, you will need to choose from among several densities. Your choices are usually: soft, medium and hard. The choice you make depends on the amount of pressure you want and need.
The way you want to use a foam roller is pretty much just how it sounds. Roll the muscle against the roller on a hard surface such as the floor. This will help break up knots. Knots are often painful, they stop your muscle from functioning properly and they restrict blood flow.
When you roll them out, you ease muscle tension and soreness while boosting your mobility. This means better recovery and performance. Not bad for a quick, easy process after each workout!