Foam Rolling

ex foam rollerRecently I have been introduced to rolling out my muscles after working out at my gym. I had no idea why we were doing this, other than to torture me, but apparently there are benefits to this! Beyond me screaming in pain! I was told at my gym that it helped with flexibility and getting better performance in general. The first time I rolled, I found out my hips were incredibly tight and to do it for more then a few minutes makes me cry (literally). I was in a car accident in 2001 and since then my hips and left knee haven’t been the same. So I try to roll every night when I get home to help with the tightness and I have noticed I am sore less when I run and do burpees at the gym, which is awesome!! Here are the apparent benefits of rolling, according to ye olde internet:

  1. Increased blood flow to said muscle. Since exercise creates micro tears and swelling in muscle fibers, rolling out your muscle helps aid in the healing of this and lessens scar tissue build up. And considering how much scar tissue is in my hip, this is a good thing!!
  2. Helps prevent injury. Apparently stretching isn’t enough if you exercise a lot. Your muscles gets tight and simple stretching isn’t enough and not rolling might actually cause injury. I feel fortunate, (*knock on wood*) I have only aggravated my hip and haven’t twisted anything or done anything to permanently keep away from exercise. See what I did there?? I didn’t even say it! I can’t jinx it, I love working out too much!!!
  3. Helps you de-stress. I guess I can see this one. As I writhe on the floor, on the roller and yell out in pain, I do have some form of release of stress. I never really thought about it until I read it.
  4. Keeps you flexible. All stretching does this, but if you concentrate it with a roller, then I guess you are turning into Gumby? I am not the most flexible person. I never danced or did gymnastics as a kid. I am lucky I can touch my toes, I couldn’t when I first started working out! I can agree that rolling out my muscles has been good for my flexibility, I have noticed I am squatting deeper and my burpees are better (but not great or fast).

So if you have never rolled in your life, I encourage it! Get rid of your scar tissue! Get more flexible! And learn that it is ok to scream out in pain in the comfort in your own home!! Hah!