At Body Planners we’re all about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle as an interesting and fun way to making a positive impact on your health. Although we do see ‘transformation specialists’ and ‘gut gurus’ plastered all over the interweb, telling us what we should cut out of our diet and pump in to our workouts very very few go as far to promote healthy joints and connective tissue, which you kinda need before anything else!
Here are 5 Benefits of Foam Rolling
1. Promotes Recovery and Healthy Circulation:- The muscles in our body attach to bone via tendons, and bones are attached through joints via ligaments. When muscles are placed under significant stress they begin to weaken in the short term, and become damaged and knot together. This in essence shortens the muscle and pulls on tendons which can cause discomfort. It also places ligaments under pressure too which can cause joint pain. Foam rolling is a self help therapy whereby the consumer uses a foam roller to self massage sore and tight areas, to break down these knots and return the muscle back to its normal working length. Now the muscle is back to its normal length, it has a larger surface area, which means more blood can flow through it. Having the ability to efficiently circulate blood means all the good stuff gets into your muscles, and all the bad stuff gets taken out and pushed into the lymphatic drainage system.
2. Reduces the risk of injury:- As mentioned above, rolling helps return the muscles back to a ‘normal state’. This reduces common side effects of muscles being tight, such as sore knees or hips and even lower backs. Because rolling restores order back to your muscles it helps address imbalances you may have created through training and lifestyle.
3. Improves Mobility and Flexibility:- As above in point two, because normality has been restored and your muscles are longer, it allows joints to operate through a greater range of movement, which basically means you may squat deeper with good form (for example) or you may be able to lift your hands directly up above your head without arching your lower back (sounds simple but can you do it?). At BP we aim to improve our clients mobility and flexibility first, because it is more beneficial to be able to move your joints optimally, before you can move them forcefully.
4. Works for everyone:- Today’s problems are generally down to the root cause of a sedentary lifestyle, whether that is domestic or working lifestyle. Most jobs today involve lots of sitting. If you’re a city worker who commutes on public transport you’ll spend more time seated than anything else, barring the small sections between your home and transport, transport and work. When sat for extended periods of time the posterior (back) chain muscles become de conditioned, and weaker than the anterior (front) chain muscles. This results in postural abnormalities and imbalances which will at some point need correction. Foam rolling on a regular basis will reduce the effects of your lifestyle and help restore some order.
5. Cost effectiveness :- Obviously if you see a qualified professional such as a physio or masseuse, there’s a cost to it. That said there’s a cost to foam rolling by investing in one, however the one off payment for your foam covered drain pipe is far less than a single payment to a physician. we have several rollers in our studio which our clients are encouraged to use as part of their programs and sessions.
A foam roller won’t however replace your physician, but it will certainly compliment their work, and may even result in you scaling down the appointment frequency with your physician.
Foam rolling can be a great way to take out some intensity from your training, and perform a recovery session with. Equally, my clients use a foam roller before every workout, because the setbacks of an injury aren’t good for progress! Your far far better with a good, thorough warm up than a token 5 minute cool down and high five! You know what they say, prevention is better than the cure!