Have you ever walked into the gym, looked over at the stretching mats, and watched someone sprawled out in a wacky position, rolling back and forth on a tube of packed foam?
It looks strange, we know.
Foam rolling has taken the health and fitness world by storm. Where we used to see maybe one or two rollers in a gym, we’re seeing rows of them in varying densities and textures stocked up and used regularly. If you don’t know anything about them, it’s easy to find yourself confused and intimidated by the whole thing.
So what’s the deal with foam rolling?
What Is Foam Rolling?
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release used to improve physical performance. Essentially, you roll your muscles, and it helps them function better in the same way that a massage would. Using a roller just allows you to get all of the hard-to-reach areas of your body without requiring the assistance of another person.
Who Should Foam Roll?
There are many benefits of foam rolling for everyone, especially active people.
Repetitive muscle movement from endurance sports, explosive movement from lifting, uneven movements that we can’t control, and even the complete lack of movement from sitting at a desk all day create myofascial adhesions that can be rolled out.
How Does Foam Rolling Work?
The crazy thing about foam rolling is that there isn’t actually consensus on how it works. Studies show that it helps performance, but they can’t pinpoint why.