Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that stretches muscles and tendons as well as breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. Foam rolling can provide similar benefits as deep-tissue massage, helping prevent injury and improve performance by increasing flexibility and decreasing muscle tension. It can be effective on many muscles, including: lats, piriformis (often affecting sciatica), quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and thoracic spine (trapezius and rhomboids).
A foam roller is a firm foam log that is usually 6 inches in diameter. The density of the foam can vary and will determine the level of pressure that can be achieved.
In order to foam roll:
- Roll back and forth across muscles or muscle groups .
- Spend extra time (30-60 seconds) directly over the knot or trigger point.
- Avoid rolling over bony areas.
Benefits of foam rolling include:
- Corrects muscle imbalances
- Improves joint range of motion
- Improves flexibility
- Increased blood flow
- Relieves muscle soreness and joint stress
It is incredible that you can perform this self-massage for myofascial release by using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller, breaking up trigger points and soothing tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.
Check out this tutorial to learn more about foam rolling specific muscles/muscle groups.
Have you ever tried foam rolling?