As trainers we see what sedentary jobs and long commutes can do to your body. We get complaints of tight hips, tight knees, poor posture, tennis elbow and loads of other issues. The medical community tends to prescribe pills and jump to conclusions about arthritis and cartilage issues when the fact of the matter is that people’s joints are misaligned, stiff and inflamed. Now research is offering a different solutions, the FOAM ROLLER. The fitness community had been using it for years but it’s now starting to become main stream.
This is Why You Foam Roll
“A study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that myofascial release with a foam roller can dramatically increase your range of motion without any negative effects on strength.”
Past research showed that static stretching (holding a stretching pose) for too long could actually hinder performance and power. The foam rolling study was performed on 11 in shape men. Next they tested the strength of their quads on a leg extension machine. They then foam rolled and did the leg extension machine a second time. There was no decrease in strength. This came as a shock because other forms of stretching have show a decrease overall strength.
Another surprising twist was that after the foam rolling the participants had 7 – 10 degrees of added flexion and some had up to 20 degrees.
The main idea behind foam rolling is that life can throw kinks into your muscles, from use, from toxins, incorrect movement patterns, prolonged sitting or standing, and even from exercise. Foam rolling helps to return your muscles to their original form so that they can function in the correct manner. If the knots are left in your muscle for prolonged periods of time they grow in size, they become inflamed and they tug on your joints causing pain and stiffness. By putting pressure on each knot, it sends a message to your body to automatically release the tight ball of flesh and relax. Smashing these knots has been the most effective way for my clients to restore their bodies and get back their range of motion, free them from pain and prevent further injury.