Foam Rolling Benefits, Plus 3 Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

Foam rolling has become a popular tool for a post workout cool down, you can hit all your trigger points and tight spots, reliving paint and allowing your muscles to relax in the process. So here’s a couple benefits you’ll receive from foam rolling post-workout, and a few risks you’ll want to avoid.

Foam rolling increases Myofascial Release, which is the application of low-intensity forces to soft tissues over a large time period. This allows muscles to relax, improving blood flow to the area. Click To Tweet

Benefits of Foam Rolling

Prevents Injury and Aids Recovery

Foam rolling increases Myofascial Release, which is the application of low-intensity forces to soft tissues over a large time period. This allows muscles to relax, improving blood flow to the area.

Blood carries vital nutrients to the muscles and carries away waste products, by increasing blood flow to the muscles you’ll be allowing them to perform better. Which in turn allows you to perform better when it comes to training or race-day.

The increased nutrients to the muscles also improves recovery, by giving them much needed nutrients to rebuild the muscle fibres.

Better Range of Motion

An increased range of motion is important for flexibility and improving performance, especially for triathletes or cyclists who are spending long periods of time in a fixed position on the bike.

Evidence from a small study has found that foam rolling paired with static stretching was most effective at increasing range of motion, compared to when just foam rolling

3 Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

Using too Much Pressure

While it may be tempting to go all out and attack a tight area or muscle head on, this can actually do more harm than good. It’s best to take it easy to begin with as not all areas of the body are equal, and some will be tighter or have different trigger points to others. Applying pressure gently and listening to your body will not only yield the best results it’ll ensure you don’t damage the muscle.

Foam Rolling a “Cold Muscle”

Foam rolling, just like stretching is advised to be left until your muscles have ‘warmed up’. And while foam rolling before activity is less likely to cause injury than static stretching, it can still result in bruising and making aches and pains worse than before. If you do decide to foam roll before your workout make sure you keep the pressure light and don’t over work your muscles.

Spending too Long in One Area

Staying on one area too long is another cause of injury from foam rolling. And although some areas are tighter than others, you should avoid rolling one area for longer than a minute, before moving to a different area. Dynamic rolling is one method that can be used to increase the length of time spent in a specific area, by twisting and moving the body as you roll you’ll hit the target muscle from different angles, significantly decreasing the risk of damage.

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