Image credit: Pilot Fitness
Have you ever been sore after a hard workout, long run or bike ride? What if you could limit that soreness and release the tightness you feel in your muscles in the days that follow? With a foam roller, you can! It’s like getting a deep tissue massage, without the hefty price tag. In fact, many foam rollers are less than $35 (see below for my foam roller recommendation!).
Foam rolling, technically referred to as “self-myofascial release,” has many benefits. The greatest of which comes from you being in control. You can find and work every sore muscle you have by applying as much or as little pressure you need on a precise area—something another person just can’t do.
Here’s more of what you’re missing by not foam rolling:
- Less muscle tension. Especially after a hard workout. Amen!
- Faster recovery time. Foam rolling helps with muscle repair so you can recover faster and get back to your workout (aka not be as sore the next day!).
- Less injuries. Just as proper stretching, warming up and cooling down help to prevent injuries, adding foam rolling into your routine will also help. This is because it will increase blood flow and circulation.
- Increased flexibility and range of motion. Foam rolling can help stretch and lengthen your muscles, which also means you’ll have a more effective workout.
- Bonus: Reduced cellulite. With its ability to increase and improve blood flow, foam rolling may also help in reducing the appearance of cellulite. I think most of us can get excited about that!
When should you foam roll? Use your foam roller after an intense workout, long run, bike ride or swim session. If you’re feeling extra sore before your next workout, roll for a few minutes before you start. I also use mine on rest days to help with muscle recovery.
What can you foam roll? The short answer: you can foam roll any muscle. However, NEVER roll a joint or bone and AVOID rolling your lower back and abdomen. I typically only use mine on my leg muscles (IT band, quads, hamstrings, etc.). Joe, my husband, frequently foam rolls his upper back.
What foam roller should I buy? There are various types of foam rollers on the market, all of which effectively stretch out muscles in a similar manner. Keep in mind, the denser the roller or the deeper its ridges, the more intense the stretch. For a dense roller that has moderate ridges with a price tag of only $32, plus, a FREE eBook on how to properly use it, I suggest the Kayla Itsines Foam Roller. Of course, there are also less expensive foam rollers (and much more expensive too), but I highly suggest Kayla’s because of the free eBook that will show you the proper way to use it. Plus, if you love pink as much as I do, you’ll love this foam roller even more! 💜
Shout-out and thank you to Pilot Fitness for allowing me to use their image as the cover image for this blog post! Pilot Fitness is a website and blog by husband and wife duo, Joshua and Lauren Dils. I just discovered their site and can’t wait to explore it further! Check it out here.
Important note: You should always discuss more than mild muscle discomfort with your doctor or other health professional. Even mild, persistent pain, should be discussed with your doctor. You only get one body, so take good care of it and listen to what it is trying to tell you!