Why is foam rolling a good idea?

Updated on February 29, 2020

Foam rolling is classified as a type of self-myofascial release (SMR). It can assist with relieving muscle tightness, soreness in addition to inflammation. Foam rolling can also help with increasing your joints’ range of motion. 

Foam rolling can be a powerful tool to include in your warm-up or cooldown, before in addition to after exercise. The advantages of foam rolling may vary from individual to individual. Foam rolling, which consists of rolling different parts of your body over a foam tube, apparently provides an inexpensive way to self-administer a simple SMR technique so you can get all the benefits at home by using an inexpensive piece of equipment.

The history of the foam roller

The rise in popularity of foam rollers owes a lot to the Israeli engineer and physicist Moshe Feldenkrais. His ground-breaking work on body movements in order to improve muscle function became popular in the 1950s. Having a black belt in judo, Feldenkrais included foam rollers into his system for physical improvement when he discovered them in the United States a couple of decades later.

In more recent times, the American sports therapist – Michael Clark – assisting with introducing foam rollers to the general population with his 2001 book, Integrated Training for the New Millennium. The first US patent for a foam roller was filed as lately as 2004.

Benefits of foam rolling

Alleviating muscle soreness

Foam rolling can be useful for soothing sore muscles as well as reducing inflammation. Research has shown that foam rolling after exercise may assist with reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). In the study in question, physically active men foam rolled for a period of 20 minutes immediately after they exercised. They did so again 24 as well as 48 hours after exercising. 

The study participants noted a decrease in their DOMS when compared to exercising and not using foam roller. These men also performed physical exercises in a better fashion as opposed to those who didn’t foam roll.

Increasing range of motion

In a small study of 11 adolescent athletes, it was found that a combination of foam rolling in addition to static stretching proved to be most effective in terms of increasing range of motion. This was in comparison to static stretching or only foam rolling. 

Benefits for fibromyalgia

SMR has shown promising findings for the treatment of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  In one study in which 66 adults, who were living with fibromyalgia, participated it was found that participants who foam rolled for 20 weeks noted feeling better as well as experiencing less pain intensity, fatigue, stiffness and depression as opposed to those who didn’t try SMR techniques. They also reported that their range of motion increased. 

Assist with relaxation

People find that foam rolling is relaxing as breaking up tightness that you feel in your muscles may assist you with feeling less tense as well as calmer. 

Foam rolling is usually considered safe to do if you feel muscle tightness or exercise often. However don’t foam roll if you have a serious injury such as a muscle tear or have broken a bone. In addition, don’t foam roll over small joints such as your knees, elbows in addition to ankles as this could cause you to hyperextend or damage these parts of your body. 

Foam rolling may assist with relieving tension during pregnancy. Just get cleared by your medical practitioner first and avoid lying on your back to foam roll when you advance in your pregnancy. You also should skip rolling out your calves in the third trimester of your pregnancy. 

If you are lost on how to perform foam rolling exercises properly it is a good idea to consult a trained personal trainer to show you the correct way of exercising with them.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.