What’s with Foam Rollers and How They Help
By now, most of us are familiar with the site of foam rollers at the gym. If you’ve ever found yourself looking over at those who are are on the floor rolling and think “What the heck is going on over there?” or “How is that helpful?”, or maybe you have been dying to ask, but haven’t had the chance – then you’ve come to the right place.
A foam roller is often referred to as self-myofascial release. Big words, I know, but basically, foam rolling is an inexpensive and easy alternative to sports massages. Many of us do enjoy a a good sports massage, but the fact remains that they are costly and not as easily accessible as a foam roller. With prices ranging from the $20 range – to the $100 range, there are many varieties out there to choose from as well.
What Does it Actually Do?
Foam rollers are beneficial in that they help to release the lactic acid that builds up in the muscle after strenuous activity. Pain occurring after heavy workouts can sometimes be helped using a foam roller to release that lactic acid which causes pain. Many times, foam rolling can just be a part of your regular workout. Getting that lactic acid on the move post-workout is a good practice to be in to prevent pain-causing build-up.
Your foam roller doesn’t only have to be used following a hard workout. Break out the roller ahead of time to warm up those muscles and get them moving. Don’t replace your stretching, however, just add to it! Personally, I like to roll over it to open up my back. It feels amazing. Of course it has some other uses too – outside of exercise – such as upending it and using it as a stand for your spider plant, but we wouldn’t recommend that.
What’s Right for You?
Health.com has a great list on the 8 Best Foam Rollers to Ease Your Aches or your friendly trainer for their advice and opinion!