Why Foam Rolling is Vital for Optimum Performance

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Why Foam Rolling is Vital for Optimum Performance

It’s no secret that foam rolling has become a major part of many peoples’ fitness routines. If you’ve seen people rolling around on cylindrical pieces of foam (or even spiky balls) after a session and you’re keen to give it a try, it’s great to know how to do it properly to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits (and not wasting your time).

As you may have been able to tell by the grimaces on peoples’ faces, foam rolling can be painful when you first start. However, with regular practice, it can increase your capacity for optimum performance, so that you can recover faster and perform better in your sessions!

What is ‘foam rolling’?

Foam rolling is scientifically called ‘self-myofascial release’. It’s designed to smooth out the knots in your muscles (whether they’re in your back, shoulders, legs, glutes or calves), and can be compared to the practice of self-massage.

 

Fascia are the connective tissues that wrap and bond your muscles together. The scientific terms for these painful ‘knots’ that we often get in our muscles are ‘trigger points’ or ‘myofascial adhesions’.They develop through stress, training, muscle overuse or underuse, movement imbalances or pre-existing injuries.

 

Why do we need to foam roll?

Let’s do an analogy; if you take a rubber band and tie a knot in the centre, the elastic around the knot will stretch, however the actual knot itself will stay still. This can result in a blockage when it comes to the elongation and full usage of our muscles. The area around the knot will still be in full use, however the knotted area won’t reap the same benefits from your training. This can result in an increased potential for injury, as your muscles aren’t being worked evenly.

How can foam rolling benefit you?

Foam rolling carries a number of benefits when included as part of a regular routine.  

  1. Increased blood flow - Foam rolling stretches and loosens muscles. By applying force to your muscles and the connective tissue surrounding them, blood is squeezed out and replaced by new blood. This will boost the carrying of vital nutrients, such as oxygen and glycogen, to your body.
  2. Better range of motion - Properly stretched and lubricated muscles simply perform better, as their range of motion is usually improved. When you have a larger range of motion, you’re able to perform exercises more effectively, basically leading to a better workout all round!
  3. Decreased risk of injury - As your range of motion is improved through regular foam rolling, so does your capacity to carry out movements properly and effectively. This will decrease your general risk of injury.
  4. Decreased recovery time - After your workout, your muscles and joints become sore due to a build up of lactic acid. When you foam roll after your workout, the acid is ‘washed away’ by encouraging fresh blood and nutrients into the muscle groups that you’ve used. The faster your muscles can receive the nutrients they need for recovery, the faster they can rebuild!

 

So after you’ve given it your all in a Fitstop session, try rolling it out and reap the benefits. For more health and fitness tips, visit the our blog.

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Fitstop Australia

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