As you go about your workout sessions, regardless of the type of workout you are completing, one activity that you should be considering incorporating into your recovery protocol is foam rolling.
More and more people are starting to sit up and take notice of all the potential benefits that foam rolling has to offer and are starting to include it more regularly so that they can move along with their progress at a faster pace.

Foam rolling is something that many Olympic athletes have been using for years, so if they are using it, you know that it’s worth some consideration.

Let’s go over what you need to know about foam rolling and all the benefits it will provide you.

What Is Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a recovery technique that can be used after intense exercise has been performed in addition to your usual stretching and recovery protocol.

With foam rolling, you’re going to create a self-directed myofascial release that will help relax the muscle by allowing the antagonistic muscles to contract intensely as you move over the foam.

The technique can be used on a wide variety of different muscles including the calves, lats, the inner and outer thigh muscles, the quads, the hamstrings, the hip flexors, as well as the muscles all along the back.

It’s a great total body recovery technique to consider integrating into your workout program, especially if you’re struggling with post workout muscle soreness on a regular basis.

The Benefits Of Foam Rolling

When looking at the benefits of foam rolling, they go deeper than just helping ensure that you are not experiencing as much pain post workout as you otherwise may.

While reducing post workout muscle pain is definitely one of the stronger benefits of foam rolling as it can help to release the tension that’s pent up in the muscle cells, causing them to relax so tightness is not as likely to occur, there are many other reasons to include foam rolling as part of your protocol.

First, foam rolling will help to enhance the level of blood circulation taking place in the tissues. As the foam rolls over the muscles and tendons, it’ll bring with it increased blood and oxygen, meaning you’ll also get better overall nutrient delivery to the tissues.

The better you can deliver all the amino acids and glucose into the muscle cells, the faster your overall recovery is going to be as well.

In addition to this, the increased blood circulation also means that you’ll have better cellular function and communication on a cell (microscopic level), further assisting with your recovery as well as your muscular development.

Those who are very tight and tense on a regular basis, not just with regards to their post workout muscle soreness related feelings but overall can benefit from doing foam rolling on a regular basis.

The foam rolling will help to loosen up the ligaments and tendons, improving your overall flexibility and range of motion in the process.

Often times, very tight muscles such as hip flexors can be harder to stretch using traditional methods, so this is where foam rolling can really come in helpful. By using foam rolling techniques, you can pinpoint these harder to reach tissues so they relax and ease into a deeper stretch you otherwise wouldn’t have obtained.

Finally, some people will also notice great relief from simple muscle pains after doing foam rolling. While it’s best used as a preventative method after a workout so that you don’t experience Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), you can also use it while you are experiencing DOMS as a means to help get past it. It will likely be painful in part to move the muscle over the foam when you are already suffering from tight and sore muscles, but if you can proceed in doing so, the pain you are experiencing will be lessened.

Also keep in mind that at times, a short tendon or ligament could be at the heart of a serious injury such as knee pain, so in some cases, simply focusing on loosening up these muscles can help to keep the joint pain in check, so in a sense, foam rolling may also help you get past an injury overall.

If you are dealing with any joint related injury, it’s worthwhile to consider whether foam rolling may assist you in your recovery protocol. More and more physiotherapists are starting to include foam rolling into their treatment protocols.

Integrating Foam Rolling Into Your Program Plan

So now that you know the main benefits of foam rolling, how do you go about adding it to your workout and recovery protocol?

There’s no specific time period when you absolutely must do your foam rolling – it can be done at any point when you do feel tight and tense, however most people will benefit best from doing it pre-workout and within the first few hours after their training session is completed.

This is when the muscles will start to tighten up, so when the foam rolling can best help them relax again and ease the overall recovery period.

Remember as you’re doing your foam rolling to focus on taking deep breaths in and out as that will help the muscles relax deeper, releasing their tension as you move more deeply into the movement pattern.

Don’t try and fight the muscular release that you’re feeling – some people will have a tendency to do this as it tends to be the first reaction upon doing the foam rolling.

Instead, relax and ease into the movement. After some time and practice of doing foam rolling, you’ll find that this gets easier and easier to do. So there you have the in’s and out’s to know about foam rolling. Make sure that you don’t overlook what this very beneficial recovery technique has to offer.

Click on the link below to pick up your foam roller.


The massage stick below is also beneficial and tends to work better for certain areas(lower legs and hamstrings for example)