Most people get into fitness for the results. And they think that in order to get speedy results, they need to work out as hard as they can and as much as they can. But many people don’t know that taking the time to help your body recover from strenuous workouts can go far towards helping you achieve those results even faster. One way to do so is to incorporate foam rolling into your routine.
A foam roller is exactly as it sounds: It’s a long, cylindrical piece of foam that comes in varying degrees of softness and different textures. To use it, you place it on the ground beneath the muscle you want to target, say your hamstring, for example, you put as much weight on that body part as feels good and slowly roll back and forth. There are different sizes of foam rollers you can use depending on the muscle you want to work.
In addition to relieving muscle soreness and tightness, foam rolling targets the fascia, a layer of tissue beneath the skin that essentially covers the entire body. When fascia is healthy, which it is if you’re regularly active and eating a nutritious diet, it will be flexible and supple. But things like a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, unhealthy eating habits, and overexercising can cause the fascia to tighten and clump, leading to pain and decreased range of motion. In the same way, a shoulder massage can get rid of knots in your neck, shoulders, and upper back, foam rolling can work out these clumps in the fascia to improve mobility and flexibility and eliminate soreness.
So, how does foam rolling help you see results faster? If you’re keeping your muscles and your fascia loose and flexible, your risk of injury significantly decreases. It also means that you’ll be able to continuously build upon and progress your workouts, lifting more weight and running farther and faster without too much soreness. To get the benefits, consider incorporating foam rolling into your weekly or daily exercise routine, rolling after a hard workout or on a recovery day. Then the next time you work out, you’ll feel loose, energized, and ready to go!
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