Ever since the coronavirus hit, more and more people have canceled their gym memberships and now workout at home. However, many don’t know that they could make their workouts much better with a single tool: a foam roller! Read on to discover how foam rolling can help you recover faster and train even harder…
Proven Good Influence
Last year, a study showed that using a foam roller can actually be more productive than stretching after a workout. The study, from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, had 20 men test foam rollers by first doing ten sets of ten squats. After the thigh exercise, ten rolled their legs for 20 minutes while the other ten decided to stretch simply using bodyweight. Finally, the doctors tested their range of motion and soreness 24, 48, and 72 hours after the workout. Those who use a foam roller not only felt better but had the physical recovery to prove it!
Since that study, foam rollers have become quite a hot trend. Now, thanks to fitness instructors and professional athletes, more people know the benefits of using a foam roller before and after training. Thankfully, these are the same people you can turn to for great foam rolling tips. And there are plenty!
Roll All The Way
So, as you’ve read, using a foam roller can be much better for you than simply stretching. But how should you begin? Well, first, you’ll need a roller! Instructors recommend buying one online or possibly renting one from a local gym. Once you have your foam roller, its time to pull up some videos and begin. While there are different techniques depending on what part of the body you are stretching, almost everyone advises to roll all the way and not stop at the first sign of pain. In time, your body will become accustomed to this way of stretching. However, if things do become too intense, always make sure to take a break!
Also, make sure to take things slowly. Like any new stretch or exercise, it will take time for your body to get the hang of things!
Final Foam Roller Tips
We’ve already touched upon being slow, but it’s worth mentioning again. It sounds like foam rolling is quick and straightforward, but it’s very easy to roll too much, so listen to your body. Feel the muscle while rolling, making sure not to overdo it and going slowly while warming up the soft tissue.
Finally, many foam roller users say to think of the process more like a meditation than an exercise routine. Relax and be mindful about helping the muscle recover and rest from the intense workout. Breathe in and out just like during a workout, and make sure to stay in one position for at least 30 seconds, giving your body time to rest.
Of course, also make sure to drink plenty of water, not only while working out but while using a foam roller as well. In fact, hydration is a crucial factor in muscle recovery! So you can think of your water bottle as your foam roller’s best friend!