Foam Rolling, also known as Self-Myofascial Release (SMR), is a technique once used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists. Today it has become a familiar everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness. According to Muscle and Fitness, foam rolling can help a runner train harder, look better, and reduce injury.
Considered one of the most effective tools for recovery and injury prevention, foam rolling preps muscles for stretching and improves circulation. RunnersWorld advises that if foam rolling is used only to rehab injured muscles, a runner is missing out on all the many benefits SMR provides, from improved circulation to improved range of motion and flexibility.
There is an increasing consensus that runners should be using a foam roller before and after training, as well as on recovery days. This could mean the difference between trouble-free running and weeks out with injuries.
Rolling as little as 5 minutes before a workout can have a great impact on the quality of each training session. The National Academy of Sports Medicine believes using a foam roller can be a healthy part of a runner’s warm up and cool down routine.
Known as the “poor man’s massage”, foam rolling will never completely replace therapists, but it is considered a great and healthy alternative. As points out, if unsure of any of the foam rolling techniques, seek the advice and assistance of a professional.
To get you started, here’s a How To Video to Roll Away Lower Back Pain. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Physical Rehabilitation team who can help you focus on muscle strengthening and honoring and overall improvement of mobility and balance.