We've all seen people foam rolling in the gym, athletes doing it on the side lines, and physical therapists telling their patients to do it at home.
But why? Why has everyone become obsessed with foam rolling? Here’s what you need to know about the popular warm-up and recovery tactic.
"Right now, research suggests that foam rolling may be able to do most of what you hope—like warm up your body for a workout, help you recover from one, or just loosen tight, achy muscle," says Pablo B. Costa, Ph.D., associate professor of kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton, and research committee member for the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
1). Found that after warming up with foam rolling, it took less effort for a muscle to produce a given amount of force. Its findings bolster previous studies in which people reported that they felt less fatigued when they foam rolled as part of their warm-up.
2). Found that foam rolling after a workout can help reduce muscle soreness, and therefore boost your performance in later workouts. "After all, a lot of times, what slashes your performance during one workout is the fact that your muscles are still sore from your last one," says Polly de Mille, R.N., C.S.C.S.
3). Found that foam rolling promotes short-term increases in range of motion. According to de Mille, research consistently shows that foam rolling can increase muscle flexibility, which means you feel less tight and probably perform your workouts with better, more efficient, and safer form.
Bottom line, Foam Roll because you:
Want your muscles to feel ready for your workout
Want to reduce the chance of injury
Want your body to work efficiently
Don't want to be as sore the next day
Blog written in conjunction with SELF