Today, foam rollers are a ubiquitous part of almost every gym and post-workout cool-down recommendations. And you can find them in any and all sizes and materials, including foam, plastic, and PVC.
While foam rollers are easy to find (or buy online), they’re also easy to ignore. Just like we can quickly get through a warm-up or cool-down routine, having an extra 15 minutes of foam rolling each day can seem like a chore. Also, if we have a little soreness, it can even be painful.
If you don’t like the foam roller, you’ll be relieved to know that it’s not a necessity when it comes to working out. However, using it from time to time makes a noticeable difference in the body and workouts.
What happens when you use a foam roller?
Foam rolling is a form of self massage offering a variety of benefits for athletes and casual gym goers alike. When we foam roll, the pressure of the roller against the body helps the muscles to stretch and realign, releasing tight knots. Stretching and loosening tight muscles can help promote a faster recovery, reduce pain and improve range of motion. Also, the foam roller can prevent muscle soreness, leaving you fresh for the next workout.
It’s also mentally relaxing to foam roll after a workout. We can even use the foam roller as part of the warm-up routine to increase blood flow to the muscles we plan to train.
Is the foam roller essential?
Not necessarilyBut that doesn’t mean we should give up the foam roller routine. At the end of the day, if you skip foam rolling after a workout, the body can finally recover and eliminate the areas that were involved in the workout on its own; the foam roller only serves as a complement of this process.
How often do we need to foam roll to experience the many benefits of foam rolling? There is no golden rule, but if we have a more sedentary job or do a lot of exercise and physical activity, we should take more time to foam roll. Even if we haven’t worked out that day, we can still benefit from including a few minutes of lathering into our morning routine to feel better throughout the day.