How to use a Foam Roller for Muscle Health and Recovery

Woman using a foam roller after a workout

Foam rolling may sound more like an arts and crafts project than a fitness technique. However, more and more people are discovering the awesome benefits of self-myofascial release using a foam roller. So whether you are an athlete or just a casual fitness enthusiast, take a look today at how rolling can help improve your overall muscle health and aid in quick and healthy muscle recovery.

What is Self-Myofascial Release?

Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a technical term for self-massage. Once used by professional athletes, coaches, trainers and therapists, SMR helps to relieve sore or tight muscles and trigger points to make your muscles happy, healthy and ready for exertion. It works by applying light pressure across the muscles, which causes the muscles to release and relax. This helps ease sore muscles and helps rid the body of trigger points, or specific knots in muscles.

What are the Benefits of Foam Rolling?

If you are any sort of athlete or struggle with sore muscles on a regular basis, then foam rolling will change your life. Here’s some of the amazing benefits that foam rolling for SMR has to offer:

  • Breaks down painful muscle knots
  • Releases muscle toxins
  • Decreases muscle soreness
  • Increases blood flow to muscles
  • Improves range of motion
  • Prevents injuries
  • Speeds muscle recovery
  • Corrects muscle movement patterns
  • Improves overall muscle health

How To Get Started with Foam Rolling for SMR?

If you want to cash in on the benefits of foam rolling, the first step is to find a good foam roller. Different rollers have different firmness and durability levels, so pick whichever roller feels right for you. Once you’ve got a good roller, you’ll want to find your sore muscle groups and trigger points. This can be done through two methods: self-exploration or consultation with a doctor or therapist. You can massage different muscle groups to find sore spots and knots, or you can have a professional help you determine the best spots to roll out.

How to Foam Roll Like a Pro

After you’ve determined where to begin foam rolling to get the best results, you can begin your exercises. Light to moderate pressure should be applied to specific muscle groups (e.g. quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, upper back, etc.) one at a time. Move the foam roller slowly, about an inch per second. Pass back and forth across each muscle group 3 to 4 times for maximum effect.

Be aware that foam rolling may hurt a bit. The pressure on your trigger points could cause a few seconds of pain before the muscle releases. If you come across a tender spot during your rolling, leave the foam roller on that spot until the pain lessens and the muscle releases, which should happen within about 30 seconds. If the pain is too intense, work on rolling the surrounding area to help the trigger point relax, then try rolling on the trigger point again. Don’t foam roll an area if it is simply too painful. Remember to avoid rolling on joints or bones.

Get Foam Rolling Today!

Foam rolling for self-myocardial release will help you immensely. It will rid your muscles of pesky trigger points, or knots, and it will release the toxin buildup in your muscles. You’ll have more elastic, relaxed muscles that will recover more quickly. You’ll notice a difference in your workouts and your everyday life as your muscles become healthier.

The best way to get started with foam rolling is to consult a professional. The doctors at Superior Foot and Ankle center are experts at foam rolling. They can help pinpoint your trigger points and problem areas and give you specific and customized foam roller exercises. Contact Superior Foot and Ankle today and get rolling with healthier muscles!