If you have ever wondered what people are doing when you see them rolling around on tubes in the Wellness center – it is called “myofacial self release”, otherwise known as “foam rolling”.
Foam rolling is like getting a deep muscle massage. Foam rolling helps to break up collagen, which forms between the fascia and muscles in your body. Collagen can form on muscles because of injury or overuse. This collagen acts like a glue, and inhibits muscle recruitment. If one segment of muscle isn’t functioning properly, other muscles will be recruited by your body. This can lead to muscle overload, muscle fatigue and faulty movement patterns. By pushing blood and oxygen through inhibited muscle tissue, foam rolling helps to activate weak muscles. Tight muscles also restrict the range of motion through which a joint moves. In this case, foam rolling improves the flexibility of the overactive muscle. Both weak and tight muscles can hurt, and both can contribute to joint pain.
Foam rolling, combined with a good stretching routine, can help improve flexibility, function, joint alignment, reduce injuries and improve your overall performance. This is definitely a tool worth adding to your fitness routine.
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