What is foam rolling and why should runners do it?
According to Wikipedia, foam rolling is: a lightweight, cylindrical tube of compressed foam. It may be used for many reasons, including increasing flexibility, reducing soreness, and eliminating muscle knots. Foam rolling is a method of self-myofascial release. Studies show that the best results occur when the foam roller is used for 30 to 90 seconds on each muscle and combined with static stretching. Rollers come in different sizes and degrees of firmness. The firmness (often identified by the color) can range from soft to firm, soft being best for beginners.
Top 4 Reasons Runners Should Foam Roll
Increases Range of Motion and Relaxation
1.) Increase range of motion – It can help break the knots in our muscles, which restrict our range of motion. Foam rolling can help use our full range of motion. Range of motion is important for flexibility and performance. Regular use of foam rollers for myofascial release can alleviate muscle tightness, ensure optimal joint range of motion, and enhance overall movement.
2.) Increase feelings of relaxation – Part of the reason people love getting massages is because it helps them unwind and feel better. Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage that takes only a few minutes each time but leaves you feeling much more relaxed.
Decreases Injury Risk and Recovery Time
3.) Decrease injury risk – It can help prevent common injuries. Tight muscles can be more prone to injury, so self-release of muscles and fascia can help loosen everything up and increase your overall performance.
4.) Decrease recovery time – Helps speed up recovery because it promotes better circulation of blood throughout the body. This helps in the natural healing process. No one wants to feel sore for long periods of time. Using a foam roller will help make the uncomfortable feeling go away faster so you can start training again with less soreness.
We at 3M Half Marathon prefer TriggerPoint foam rollers since it started in Austin, where this awesome race takes place. They were also a past partner of the race. There are now numerous creators of similar products you can explore and test out.
Grab one soon, if you don’t already own one, and get to foam rolling ASAP!