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Health and Fitness News

Get Rolling

Grab a foam roller and enjoy five fitness benefits.

Maybe you’ve seen a foam roller and wondered what it is and what it’s used for. Cylindrical in shape and made of foam, foam rollers come in various sizes, levels of firmness, and textures. Each variety is used for a different purpose, and people who use them love them.

Though relatively inexpensive, foam rollers offer valuable fitness benefits. If you have a foam roller that doesn’t get much use or have never touched a foam roller, keep reading to see five perks you may be missing out on.

Foamy Perk 1: Relieve DOMS

Anyone who’s ever exercised has experienced delayed onset muscle soreness. Known as DOMS, this soreness sets in a day or two after an intense workout or after getting back into exercise after a long hiatus. Ranging from mild to severe, muscle soreness can slow you down. Caused by tiny tears in your muscle tissue, the soreness can last for days.

Unless you make use of a foam roller. Because using a foam roller is one way you can speed your muscles’ healing process and reduce the amount of soreness after a workout. As you position the foam roller under parts of your body and roll back and forth, the massaging effect increases circulation to the area and relieves tightness to aid healing.

Foamy Perk 2: Massage

After an intense workout or a stressful day you may crave a deep tissue massage. Next best thing? A foam roller. A simple way to give yourself a massage, foam rolling helps elongate muscles to break up knots, scar tissue, and trigger points that may be causing pain somewhere else in your body. The pressure of the foam roller on your muscles helps relieve built up tension. Sometimes, just resting your sore back against the foam roller works better than rolling back and forth on it.

So if you have access to a foam roller, use it to massage any of your major muscles, such as your hamstrings, quads, calves, or upper back. Avoid using a foam roller on your neck or abdomen.

Foamy Perk 3: Feet TLC

Your feet carry around the weight of your body all day, with very little thanks. A day in high heels or a long run can leave you with achy feet that are begging for some TLC. When no one volunteers to give you a foot rub, grab your foam roller to massage and stretch your arches. Place the roller under one foot and apply weight to that foot as you roll it back and forth on the roller. If you want, stand on the roller with both feet, hold onto something for balance, and roll back and forth.

Foamy Perk 4: Improve Balance

Looking for a way to improve your balance, strengthen your core, and reduce your risk of injury? The instability of the foam roller makes it a perfect prop for a variety of balance exercises. Whether standing on the roller with one foot or two, lying on the roller, or placing the roller under your hands while on all fours, there are plenty of creative ways to challenge your balancing skills.

Foamy Perk 5: Yoga Tool

You may find a foam roller helpful while you practice yoga. Similar to a yoga block, a roller can help you balance, aid in stretching poses, or relieve pressure on your knees or back during various poses and postures. Make yoga poses and postures more difficult with the use of a foam roller to test your balance, and enjoy a stronger, healthier you as a result!