Foam Rolling Benefits: The Science and Common Mistakes

Foam Rolling Benefits: The Science and Common Mistakes

Tired, sore muscles? We’ve got just the cure: self-myofascial release. What, that doesn’t ring a bell? That super technical term is just fancy talk for the self-indulging practice of foam rolling. There are a number of awesome benefits to foam rolling that have made it a staple in our workout routine here at NOOMA. What’s even better is that it’s a super simple activity that can be done almost anywhere.

The Science of Foam Rolling

So, what exactly are you getting out of rubbing your tendons back and forth across a foam cylinder? The simple science behind the practice is that it’s helping smooth out the obstructions caused by exercise and breaking down any adhesions. This will increase blood-flow within the muscles. The foam rolling benefits listed below are the wonderful side effects of that increased blood flow and adhesion disappearance.

Foam Rolling Benefits

Cellular Function

The improved blood circulation that comes with foam rolling is going to lead to a more efficient exchange of nutrients and waste. This means better overall cellular function and communication between cells.

Injury Prevention

Injury prevention is a big winner in our book. Daily foam rolling prevents fascia buildup, protecting the muscle areas from becoming injury trigger points.

Hip Flexors

One specific target area we love for the foam roller is hip flexors. Hip flexors are one of the pesky muscles that like to tighten and shorten up making them hard to stretch out properly. The foam roller is an effective and easy tool to take care of that little mishap that often gets overlooked.

Common Foam Rolling Mistakes

Big surprise, we’re fans of a simple piece of equipment with some huge benefits. But unless you avoid some common and critical mistakes, you could be missing out on all the benefits of foam rolling.

MISTAKE: Rolling directly over the pain.

SOLUTION: Before tackling the direct area of pain, it’s best to start with areas in close range. Once you’ve taken some time to work around regions of the sensitivity, you can begin working on the sore point in large and sweeping motions.

MISTAKE: Rolling too fast.

SOLUTION: As the old saying goes, “slow and steady rolls the race”….or, you know, something along those lines. Rolling back and forth quickly may feel satisfying, but without taking time on certain spots you’re not really eliminating any adhesions or reaping the benefits of foam rolling listed previously.

MISTAKE: Using the roller on your lower back.

SOLUTION: This is a common spot used with the roller, but using a foam roller directly on your lower back can cause strain and hyperextension. If lower back release is what you’re looking for, ditch the foam roller and Namaste yourself into child’s pose.