In the world of sports recovery, one of the most highly debated topics is foam rolling. “Does it speed recovery?” “Can it help injuries?” “When should I foam roll?” With these question and others alike, come with various answers most of which contradict each other. In this article, we explain what science has proven about foam rolling and what advantages you can gain from using a foam roller.
As foam rolling is becoming more and more common, most athletes are familiar with what a foam roller looks like, but for those of you who are unfamiliar with foam rolling, a foam roller is typically a long cylinder shaped object usually made from plastic or polypropylene.
When most people think of foam rolling they assume a foam roller is a recovery tool useful for massaging out knots and alleviating soreness, while this is usually the case athlete lacking the knowledge of how long to foam roll and when to foam roll can loose some of the potential benefits of foam rolling.
Despite the fact that Foam Rolling is usually not very a comfortable or time convenient task, studies suggest that ideally foam rolling bouts should last about 20 minutes, session shorter than that have been shown to produce less noticeable benefits.
Another key question in foam rolling is when to foam roll. Fortunately what is usually the most convenient time for athletes, “just after a workout”, has also the proven to be the most effective time to foam roll with results becoming less notice the longer the athlete waited to foam roll.
Over the past few years, numerous benefits have been credited to foam rolling, and while some of these have proven themselves when studied, others have lacked the evidence. To this point here are the probable benefits of foam rolling:
As the foam rolling market continues to grow it is likely that more and more options will become available for each specific athlete. As of now, there are plenty of options available to fit anybody’s specific criteria. Foam rollers can range anywhere from under $10 to upwards of $150 offering special features such as:
If you are looking for an easy way to improve recovery, help eliminate muscle soreness, or want to enhance workouts the day after an intense session, foam rollers are a great way to do that! I myself have been able to utilize a standard foam roller and also try a vibrating one and love them. Each of these has seemed to help in recovery and eliminate soreness. I would definitely recommend foam rolling to any athlete trying to improve their training and speed recovery.