You’ve probably seen the word foam rolling floating around when you look up anything to do with muscle soreness and recovery. But do you really know how foam rolling works? What are foam rollers for, when do you use foam rollers, and why are foam rollers effective for your recovery? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What is foam rolling?
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release. It is a technique used to ease sore muscles by focusing on putting pressure on tight spots. Vibrating foam rollers use vibration technology to get deeper into the muscle without having to roll much at all, as you just apply pressure and let the vibrations do the work.
‘Myofascial release (MFR, self-myofascial release) is an alternative medicine therapy that claims to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.’ -Wikipedia
What does it do?
To put it in simple terms, it works by breaking up knots and sore spots in the muscles. Many athletes will experience muscle soreness as they push their body physically. Resistance training causes the muscle fibres to tear, which inflames the area and this is what hurts so much after a workout!
Scientific research has shown that Pulseroll vibrating foam rollers break up scar tissue and knotting in the fascia. It increases blood flow to the muscles. ‘In the Pulseroll group, although oxygen requirements increased due to damage, the muscle still received more oxygen and recovered quicker than the control group. In the control group that didn’t have any treatment, we saw the oxygen level recovery was much slower.’ -Sun Sport Coaching
When should I use a foam roller?
You can roll the muscles before or after a workout. It can be used to warm up or cool down but don’t spend too long doing it as this could do more harm than good! Typically 30 – 60 seconds on a specific muscle is enough for each session, otherwise you risk bruising and injury. In general, you should roll from a place of comfort toward the discomfort. You can also foam roll on your rest days, as the more consistently you do it, the better results you will receive.
Now you know exactly how foam rolling works, have a go for yourself. Try the Pulseroll vibrating foam roller and see the benefits.