If you are running (or doing any sort of exercise) on a regular basis, it’s important to keep muscles and fascia healthy and mobile. It might help prevent some of those injuries that pop up during training when you thought you were feeling fine.
5. You Can Preempt the Pain
The simple truth is that we’re pretty hard on our bodies, and random things, like standing–or sitting–for too long, can start an ache or a pain you probably wished wasn’t there. When you start using a foam roller to work out those tight muscles, you start breaking down scar tissue, help the muscle get rid of left over lactic acid, and become more flexible and strong. Having a one–and–done mentality isn’t going to benefit you in the long-term.
To really see the benefits of foam rolling, it’s a habit best served every day. Regular foam rolling can help prevent cramps and even actually strengthen your muscles over the long term. So while you’ll definitely feel some short term pain, it hurts so good! It can definitely save you from a lot of pain later.
6. Maintains Spine Health
Keeping your body in its natural alignment is important to decrease tension and avoid awkward positioning when doing everyday activities, both at work and at home. According to Therapeutic Associates, foam rolling can be a great addition to a postural alignment program by encouraging muscle balancing and promoting effective spinal movements.
7. Reduces Cellulite
Cellulite is a common condition that causes dimples in the skin in the abdomen, pelvis and lower limb region and is known to be frequently found in women.
Research indicates that one cause of cellulite are shifts in connective tissue structure. Foam rolling helps stretch connective tissues and improve circulation. It does this by breaking up interwoven fat fibers. This process helps prevent the formation of cellulite and reduction of existing cellulite with the combination of diet and proper exercise.
8. Keeps You Flexible
Building up your flexibility is key for any fitness routine, which means you constantly should be stretching and doing exercises that’ll help you gain flexibility. Stretches that lengthen your hip flexors, for example, can help combat tightness from sitting as well as lower back pain.
9. Your Money Stays in Your Pocket
You save a TON of money. Massages are expensive, and if you’re recovering from an injury, regular meetings with the physical therapist are too. Using a foam roller as part of your regular workouts can help you recover from damaged muscles, and can even help you to prevent a host of injuries. It’s better to pay $10 upfront for a foam roller, than thousands of dollars on the back end as you try to get your body back to normal.
10. Improves Flexibility
Another benefit to regular SMR (self myofascial release) is the performance capability of your muscles. The more flexible your muscles are within normal range of motion, the more power they will be able to produce. This has to do with elastic energy. The more stretch a muscle gets, the more stored energy it has, the more force it will be able to generate.
On the other hand, a less flexible muscle produces less stretch, less range of motion, less stored energy, and decreased force output. SMR, combined with proper stretching, strengthening, and training could help you reach new performance levels that you were never able to achieve before. SMR has become standard practice among many collegiate and professional level athletes across all sports because of the perceived performance benefits.
11. Helps Prevent Common Injuries
One of the most important reasons for a regular foam rolling routine is to prevent those often too common exercise-related injuries. Many runners, for example, become painfully well acquainted with their IT band (iliotibial band) if they don’t take care to massage the band of tissue.
IT band syndrome (iliotibial band syndrome) and other similar flare-ups can be caused by too-tight muscles. Foam rolling every day ensures you are massaging away fascia buildup in your muscles, in order to help prevent those areas from becoming injury trigger points.