What Are the Benefits of Foam Rolling?
Fascia is tissue that connects to muscles, bones, and ligaments to provide support throughout your body.
Fascia is elastic and can stretch and move as one with the rest of your body when it is working properly. However, fascia can tighten and stiffen as a result of intense workouts, poor posture or movement patterns, stress, and lifestyle factors, restricting movement and even causing pain.
Unfortunately, traditional stretching does not always release tight fascia. To release those tight muscles and tissue, direct pressure from a massage therapist, or a tool like a foam roller, or even a lacrosse ball, is required. Muscles and fascia must be supple and elastic in order for muscles to move and function properly.
Benefits of Foam Rolling
1. Enhances Range of Motion and Performance
Exercise, injury, and lifestyle choices can cause fascia tightening and trigger points, or “knots.” These knots are what limit mobility as well as performance. Foam rolling can help to break up those knots and restore muscles and soft tissue to normal function, thereby increasing range of motion. With a greater range of motion, you can improve your workout performance by fully engaging muscles to increase strength and power.
2. Relieves Muscle Pain and Promotes Recovery
Fascia provides support and protection to your muscles. Fascia can tighten as a result of overuse, injury, or even inactivity, causing inflammation and irritation. Foam rolling helps to break up those knots, which can improve circulation to your muscles and connective tissues. Your muscles will recover faster and with less soreness if you have better circulation and more oxygen.
3. Muscle Relaxation
Foam rolling, like deep tissue massage, applies direct pressure to tight muscles and knots, allowing them to relax and release tension. “Rolling” over your muscles and trigger points has the same effect as a massage therapist kneading your muscles.
4. Muscle Lengthening & Injury Prevention
Foam rolling, like the increasing range of motion, allows you to stretch your muscles more effectively. Foam rolling lengthens muscles and dissolves scar tissue, which can prevent you from reaching your deepest stretch. It enables muscles to return to their normal length, allowing for proper muscle function. There is far less risk of injury when your muscles are stretched and function properly.
5. Restore Muscle Imbalances
Foam rolling allows your body to perform better because it can relax tight muscles, improve range of motion, and lengthen muscles. It assists in correcting muscle imbalances by relaxing overactive, tight muscles and allowing proper movement to strengthen weak, underactive muscles.
6. Immune System Boosting
A healthy myofascial system corresponds to a healthy immune system. Your lymphatic system detoxifies and maintains the health of your system. Lymph, also known as lymphatic fluid, runs along your body’s facial plane. When the fascia in your body is tight, it restricts lymph movement. Foam rolling loosens tight fascia, allowing proper detoxification and immune function.