The benefits of using a foam roller – the concept behind foam rolling is essentially a form of myofascial release. Fascia is a densely woven, specialized system of connective tissue that covers and unites all of the body compartments. The purpose of fascia is to surround and support bodily structures, which provides stability as well as direction for muscle fiber line of pull. For example, the fascia surrounding the quadriceps keeps the muscles contained in the front compartment of the thigh and keeps muscles fibers in vertical direction so that the line of pull is more effective to extending the knee (like in a seated leg extension exercise).
In a normal state fascia is relaxed and has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. However, with physical trauma (exercise), scarring, or inflammation, fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight and restricted. As result can exert pain and movement limitations, causing binding. Foam rolling is like rolling out dough with a rolling pin. It can actually realign the muscle and fascia from bundled position (called knots or adhesions) and relax the muscle tissue. It can also increase blood flow throughout the body.
Reasons to incorporate foam rolling into your daily routine: Prevents injury & helps aid in recovery, breaks up scar tissue, improves mobility and flexibility, removes lactic acid to aid in recovery and it can be used as a workout tool
A tip to remember: Go indirect before direct. If you find a spot that’s sensitive, ease away from that area by a few inches. Take time and work a more localized area around the spot that feel sore before using larger, sweeping motions.