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What does foam rolling actually do to your muscles?

Walking around the gym and seeing people use a foam roller and not knowing what it does, curious to give it a go but don’t want to look like an idiot using it wrong. We can help you understand more of what it does to your muscles and give you a general how to use guide. Using a foam roller has great benefits on the recovery of muscles, increase flexibility, muscle relaxation and increasing blood flow.


Myofascial release (self-massaging) is the technical term for what you are doing when foam rolling, first described by Andrew Taylor Still – ‘the therapy relaxes contracted muscles, improves blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulates the stretch reflex in muscles’. Self-massaging can be accomplished by using many different pieces of equipment, foam rollers, lacrosse balls, golf balls and massage balls are some examples.


Using a foam roller is simply rolling your muscles to stretch and lengthen to allow better blood flow this will help get rid of any knots in your muscles. Getting rid of knots in your muscles is very important to enhance performance and to gain the maximum range of flexibility. Stretching and foam rolling come hand in hand, warming your muscles up before physical output maximises performance and decreases your chances of injury.


Bruised and tight muscles are uncomfortable and very common after rigorous exercise. Foam rolling can be very uncomfortable as self-massaging you know exactly where the trigger point (knot) is. Getting the blood into the muscle will speed up the recovery of the fibres thus getting you back into physical exercise as quick as possible.


There are many different types of foam rollers on the market, EVA Foam Rollers which are made from high density foam. Trigger Point Rollers are very popular as they have 3 different densities on one roller. It all comes down to your own preference on how firm you like your roller to be, when you hit a tender spot give it a good 30 second roll. Foam Rollers are a number one choice for physiotherapists.

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