Are foam rollers the real deal or just another fitness fad?
All our favorite fitspo bloggers are suddenly raving about foam rollers, but is it time to jump on the bandwagon? Do foam rollers really benefit muscles, or are we as stupid as we look while using them for falling for the scam?
What Are Foam Rollers For?
There are two reasons that people use foam rollers. The most obvious one is to relieve muscle soreness, and the lesser known one is to increase flexibility.
The body sized tubes are most often made of neoprene. You rest your body on it and roll around on the ground. Some of the fitness faithful swear by foam rollers, but what do the facts say?
What Say The Scientists?
A study on the efficacy of foam rollers was conducted by the University of Stirling, and the results were varied. Foam rollers have been proven to make a person more flexible, at least temporarily. In respect to helping with muscle soreness, the jury is still out. Some proponents of foam rolling have asserted that the practice literally massages the muscles. This certainly isn’t true.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that foam rolling does make a person with sore muscles feel better. The soothing effect of foam rolling is more likely caused by the release of endorphins caused by rubbing against the skin. The same effect can be produced by massaging sore areas with your hand.
What Should You Do?
The one thing that the study proved beyond a doubt is that foam rollers don’t cause any immediate damage to muscle endurance. Since flexibility is the one thing that foam rollers definitely help with, it’s most effective to include foam rolling in your workout routine if improved flexibility is your goal.
If foam rolling works well for you, there’s no reason to stop!