Foam rolling is a great way to alleviate tension in your muscles that may hinder your movement or performance. Over time, the connective tissue between our muscles gets taut and becomes knotted which reduces blood flow and limits movement. This can be caused by a number of factors such as poor posture, overtraining or poor technique when exercising
If left untreated, these knots, or ‘trigger points’, can replace healthy muscle tissue with scar tissue and become a contributing factor in injury. A build up of trigger points places even greater strain on the surrounding tissue that may need to compensate for areas of weakness and lack of movement.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. Think of it as ironing out the wrinkles – by pinpointing and manipulating these trigger points we’re relaxing the muscles surrounding a joint and allowing them to move more freely.
The foam roller can be a really useful tool for warm-ups and cool downs, no matter what form of training you enjoy. The list of movements is endless, but if you’re not sure where to begin, these five essential foam rolling exercises are great for targeting some common problem areas.