Every workout starts with 5-10 minutes of foam and lacrosse ball rolling. But why do we roll and what benefits does it have for athletes? Foam rolling acts as a form of myofascial release. Myofascial release refers to a form of soft tissue therapy which aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood circulation and initiate the stretch reflex in the muscle. Foam rollers help to release tight muscles and knots that can build up in muscle tissue from training. As you roll, fibrous tissue is broken down, increasing circulation and blood flow to the area to help diminish muscular soreness from exercise. Foam rolling has also been found to increase mobility, by releasing tight musculature and fascia. At Premier Strength, we roll before every workout, as it helps prepare the body for training by increasing blood flow and preparing the muscle for exercise. Foam rolling should also be included in your cooldown routine as well, to help the body recover and help limit the development of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are rolling:
Avoid rolling up and down quickly. Take your time on several spots of the muscle belly, slowly working your way through the whole muscle
Stay disciplined. Benefits don’t come from foam rolling once and a while. Commit to a program of foam rolling in which becomes a part of your pre-workout or pre-game routine.
It is more beneficial to roll for 5-10 minutes daily, opposed to longer periods of time less frequently. When you spend an extended amount of time on the roller in one session (above 15 minutes) you can damage muscle fibers, possibly leading to muscular contusions.
Move around the roller. Don’t confine yourself to rolling in only one direction. Make sure to work the muscle belly in multiple directions for the best benefits.
Foam rolling should be an essential part of your training routine. Get your body rolling with a foam roller!