If there’s one wellness trend that has dominated the headlines in 2020, it’s post-workout recovery techniques. The approaches are as varied as the workouts themselves. From supplements and sleep to baths and foam rolling, the body needs a break to come back stronger after exercise.
The foam roller is an affordable tool that offers such a break. It helps users achieve a deep tissue massage, and it’s a favorite of personal trainers and athletes alike.
A complement to stretching, foam rolling helps increase range of motion and decrease soreness. But what does foam rolling do exactly? By placing the foam roller underneath the sore and tight areas, you can target them and hopefully find relief. This process is known as myofascial release and is embraced in the health community by massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors.
MYX Coach Garner Pilat is also a fan. She says, “Foam rolling helps to break down scar tissue while lengthening and promoting more elastic muscles and fascia (connective tissue).” When static stretches are followed by foam rolling, the muscles are already lengthened; therefore, joints can achieve more range of motion. Hello, better flexibility!”
Foam rolling increases blood flow to muscle tissue, joints, and fascia, which aids in muscle repair and recovery. Pilat says foam rolling offers additional potential for anyone who’s active. “Not only will foam rolling help with muscle soreness and speed up your recovery time, but it’s also a great opportunity after a workout to relax and focus on your breath.”
There’s really no wrong occasion to get in a foam rolling session. Pilat’s advice? “If you want to foam roll every day, go for it!” Foam rolling can be used before a workout to help increase the temperature of the muscles, but you can maximize its potential if you foam roll after a workout to boost the body’s natural muscle repair and recovery process.
As far as technique, be sure to foam roll the main muscles you worked during your workout, paying extra attention to sensitive areas. Research cited by the American Council on Exercise indicates that foam rolling can bring about a significant reduction in soreness and increased flexibility when used on specific areas twice per week for 15 minutes at a time.
Whenever you choose to foam roll, consistency is key to achieving the best results. MYX offers plenty of foam rolling classes so you can even switch up your recovery sessions.