Foam Roller Benefits
Monday, 9 November 2015 | Admin
As long as people are exercising and engaging in sporting activities, there will be the unfortunate side-effect of injuries and general discomfort, often in the form of stiff, aching muscles. Continually training with discomfort or minor injuries is a recipe for disaster, and so any product that can reduce or eliminate this stiffness and inflexibility is extremely beneficial. Self-myofascial release, aka foam rolling, is an increasingly popular method of doing just this. Once seen as being exclusively targeted at professional athletes, it has become a lot more accessible recently, and it is now more possible than ever before to see the foam roller benefits.
Foam Roller Benefits
Foam rolling is essentially self-massage, that you can use in place of a massage therapist's hands. The principle remains the same - by applying pressure to specific points on your body you can aid in their recovery and help your muscles return to their normal, elastic function. Repetitive movements such as running, cycling, weightlifting and more can cause the muscles to become stiff, and results in 'knots' forming. Knots are the point within a muscle where the contracted fibres can't release properly, leading to pain and tenderness. By applying pressure to these knots with a foam roller, or similar massage product, you should be able to release these knots.
Apart from removal of knots and pain relief, there are lots of other foam roller benefits. One of these is increased blood flow. This is extremely useful for athletes in particular, as it can speed up recovery times and allow you to train harder and more often with much less discomfort. Other benefits of foam rolling include increased flexibility and range of motion in the joints. This is ideal, as it means you have a lower chance of injury, and during activities such as weightlifting you can work the muscle more fully and effectively, not to mention being able to get on with daily life free of the discomfort of stiff, inflexible muscles and joints.
When to Use a Foam Roller
In an ideal world, to see the biggest foam roller benefits you would do it both before and after activity. As a warm-up, it should be the first thing done, even before stretching or cardio, in order to get the blood flowing. After a workout, it is useful in preventing blood from pooling in the muscles, and allowing oxygen to come in and start the healing process, so you won't feel as much pain or stiffness. For the time-poor among you, if you have to choose just one then foam rolling pre-workout is probably the best choice. Even a few minutes can lead to improved performance.
Here at Think Sport, there are a wide range of foam rollers and other self-massage products to help you with your athletic journey.
One of the most versatile and comprehensive rollers on the market is the TriggerPoint The Grid Foam Roller. The three-dimensional surface is also more effective than a flat roller as it allows the muscle tissue to aerate while you roll, promoting the flow of blood and oxygen, which are essential to repair muscles. Compact and travel-friendly, it is ideal for taking on the road with you or keeping in a sports bag for maximum convenience. If you have dense muscle tissue and would prefer extra compression, try the TriggerPoint The Grid X Foam Roller, which is twice as hard for an extra firm rolling experience.
Another ultra-small, yet versatile and effective product is the TriggerPoint Massage Ball. You can use it in almost infinite ways for massaging muscles in areas that are typically difficult to reach with standard massage products and foam rollers. Use it on the floor, the wall or any hard surface for applied pressure to relive aches, pains and stiffness.
This is just a small selection of the products available. Think Sport caters to athletes, and has a wide range of rollers and related self-massage products to ensure that you're fighting fit and ready to face your next workout. Click here for the full range of rollers.