As an avid runner and exercise enthusiast, I find that it is really important to keep my body healthy. Sure exercising is a great way to keep fit, but it can also cause my body some damage, which if left untreated can become permanent and debilitating, something which I would rather avoid.
If you want to avoid muscle and joint pain, plus becoming stiff and inflexible, a foam roller might just be the thing for you. There is a long list of foam roller benefits that will help your body stay healthy during exercise and your daily life in general. Let’s get right into it and start talking about all of the benefits that come along with using a foam roller on a regular basis.
Benefit #1: Fascia Health
One of the biggest foam roller benefits that comes along with using a foam roller after exercising and on off days is called SMR or self myofascial relief. Many different activities including running, weight lifting, other various forms of exercise, plus even sitting at a desk for a long period of time will cause fascia to be created throughout your whole body.
Fascia is a small layer of connective tissue which is formed around the muscles after prolonged periods of a certain movement. All of these different exercises and movements, especially when done wrong and on a consistent basis, will cause the fascia to be created around the muscles in a way that will inhibit your range of motion, cause inflexibility, and even a lot of pain too.
Using a foam roller in a variety of ways will help to keep you flexible and pain-free by keeping different trigger points and ever increasing scar tissue within both the muscles and the fascia broken up into small pieces. The less this scar tissue within the fascia heals in an incorrect way and the more it gets broken up, the more flexible you will stay, increasing your range of normal motion.
Benefit #2: Increased Blood Flow
Another great benefit that you can get from using a foam roller on a regular basis is that of increased blood flow to your muscles. Doing regular exercises with a foam roller will encourage increased blood flow to your extremities, especially to the muscles that you use to work out on a daily basis.
An increased amount of blood flow to your muscles has several benefits. One of the greatest benefits of increased blood flow is that your muscles will have more oxygen delivered to them during a particularly strenuous workout. Having more oxygen delivered to your muscles means that they will not get tired as quickly and will make you be able to work out at an increased intensity for a longer period of time than you would if your muscles were not getting the oxygen they require.
Since a foam roller increases your blood flow and lets you work out for a longer period of time you will be able to accomplish any exercise goals that you have more quickly. In other words, a foam roller can directly impact the results that you get from both cardio and weight training exercises.
Benefit #3: Foot Pain Relief
The next benefit that you can get from using a foam roller is that of relieving foot pain after a long day of standing on your feet. Standing up all day long, especially when you don’t have the right shoes with proper arch support will cause much pain in the soles and arches of your feet, plus in your calves too. Using a foam roller after a long day of standing can provide your feet with a good stretch and massage that you need to relieve that horrible pain.
All that you really need to do to get rid of that foot pain in your arches and soles is to stand on a foam roller with one foot, apply some pressure and roll the arches of your foot back and forth on top of the roller. This will massage your feet and stretch out the soles to relieve pain thanks to the pressure of rolling back and forth. If the pressure still isn’t enough, you can always stand on the roller with both feet and roll back and forth, of course making sure that you have something to hold on to for stability.
Benefit #4: Getting Rid Of Knots
When you exercise on a regular basis your muscles can form knots. This is especially true when you exercise using improper form and technique. These knots can also form in the muscles throughout your body from things like sitting at a desk for a prolonged period of time. These knots can become very painful and debilitating because they take away from your overall flexibility and range of motion.
Using a foam roller on a regular basis will help to get rid of these painful knots with almost no effort required on your behalf. Rolling the muscles of your body which are plagued with knots over a foam roller helps to relieve the knots through the miracle of direct pressure.
Foam rolling away your knots is a great way to get a free pain-relieving massage and is much like using a steamroller to get rid of lumps in cement when trying to create a flat surface. The direct pressure you apply to your muscles using the foam roller will slowly relax the knots, flatten them out, and bring your muscles back to their ideal shape and form.
Benefit #5: Foam Roller Benefits Your Back
Sitting at a desk all day, especially when you sit in a chair that does not provide enough lumbar support can really agitate your back and cause back pain. This back pain is also evident in people that spend all day on their feet. Of course, back pain can be extremely debilitating and put a stop to any fun activity which you may want to engage in.
Putting a foam roller on the ground and rolling your back over it can go a long way in relieving back pain, especially lower back pain. A foam roller works to relieve this pain by making you stretch out your back muscles when you roll over it.
Foam rollers are the perfect thing to create that much needed arch in your back which helps to loosen and lengthen the muscles and ligaments in your back, thus decreasing pain and increasing your range of motion. There is no need to have someone crack your back to stretch it out when it is as easy as spending a few minutes rolling your back over a foam roller.
Benefit #6: Increased Muscle And Tissue Recovery
Something that happens when you exercise is that your muscle tissue breaks down before it builds up. That is how exercising works because when you work out you cause small micro tears in your muscles that then heal over with scar tissue and ends up making your muscles bigger and stronger. However, if you don’t do something to aid in the recovery process, your muscles may degrade more than they build, plus the recovery time will be longer too.
A foam roller can help increase tissue and muscle recovery by increasing the blood flow to those damaged muscles. More oxygen being delivered to connective tissue and muscles means that there are also more nutrients being delivered to them, thus aiding in a quick recovery process.
Having quicker muscle and connective tissue recovery means that you will be able to work out more frequently without causing injury or muscle degradation and will ultimately make you achieve your muscle growth and strengthening goals quicker.
Benefit #7: Pre-Workout Stretching
If you are an exercise enthusiast, you probably know how crucial it is to stretch your muscles and loosen them up before working out because not doing so can cause you to overstretch your muscles, pulling them and causing injury during a strenuous workout. Sure you could do some regular stretching, but it isn’t nearly as effective as using a foam roller.
Using a foam roller properly before a workout, especially on your arms, legs, and back can help to stretch out your muscles and warm them up to prevent injury. It is also important to stretch your muscles after an intense workout routine to keep them from becoming tight and stiff.
Benefit #8: Less Lactic Acid
When you go through an intense workout session, your muscles start to produce something called lactic acid. When your muscles produce lactic acid it makes them tired and sore; it’s where you get that classic burning sensation from.
Yes that burning sensation caused by lactic acid does mean that you are getting results, hence the no pain no gain motto that many follow, but it also results in a decreased ability to exercise for a prolonged period of time.
Loosening up your muscles with a foam roller helps to remove lactic acid in your body and will ultimately help you work out for longer, thus achieving more results in a shorter time span.
Benefit #9: Increasing Your Balance
Another great benefit that comes along with using a foam roller on a regular basis includes increasing your ability to balance. Your ability to balance has to do with something in your ligaments, joints, and muscles which are called proprioceptors. These proprioceptors help your body to compensate balance wise for different movements that you do and also help to increase your reaction time.
Using a foam roller during a workout will increase the effectiveness of your body’s proprioceptors. This can be done by using a dumbbell while having one foot on a roller or while doing any other strength training exercises. This ultimately helps to increase your balance by honing your reaction time and ability to quickly counterbalance any movements that your body makes.
Benefit #10: Deeper Squats
This is really important for anyone who does squats and other exercises to make your glutes and hamstrings more toned and stronger. Using a foam roller on a daily basis helps to loosen up your calves, thighs, and your glutes. This is crucial for those types of exercises because the tighter those muscles are the harder it is to do something like squats.
A foam roller will loosen up your muscles and help you squat much deeper, thus working your muscles harder and ultimately achieving more results in the same time period as if you weren’t using a foam roller.
Benefit #11: Better Stretching
Another benefit of using a foam roller is that it can assist with proper stretching. A foam roller can be used as a stretch support to increase your flexibility. For example, if you are trying to stretch your hamstrings while lying down you can put the foam roller under your feet to increase the amount of stretch that you get, thus increasing the effectiveness of the stretch in question and the results that you get from it, one of those effects being increased flexibility.
Benefit #12: Easy On Your Wallet
Perhaps one of the best parts about having a foam roller at home is that they are comparatively cheap, especially when it comes to something like a massage. A good foam roller can cost anywhere from 15 to 60 dollars, which of course is still much cheaper than getting a professional massage that can cost up to 200 dollars for an hour long session.
Foam rollers are just as effective as getting a massage, plus you can target specific problem areas in your body without spending a fortune.
There are so many different benefits that come with using a foam roller on a regular basis and they include things like increased flexibility, reduced healing time for muscles, better squats, benefits for your back, and many other things too. If you don’t already have a foam roller, we would definitely recommend that you get one because it will work wonders for your body.
We hope that you found this post helpful and if you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them below. For example, you may be wondering what the best foam roller to purchase is or even how to choose the right foam roller for you, both questions which we would be happy to answer. Also if you have your own unique experiences with foam rollers, we would really like to hear all about them.