Advantages of Using a Foam Roller Before and After Working Out | STACK

Advantages of Using a Foam Roller Before and After Working Out

December 17, 2010

Massage is great for helping muscles recover, improving mobility and reducing aches and pains from training and competition. The performance-enhancing technique is based on myofascial release—i.e., reducing the tightness in fibrous tissue and muscles by applying pressure to them.

You can gain most of the benefits of myofacial release with a foam roller—a dense foam cylinder. Athletes should slowly roll over the desired area, focusing on spots that are particularly sensitive, to eliminate tightness. Target areas include the IT Bands [outside of thighs], glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves and upper back.

At first, foam rolling may feel uncomfortable or even slightly painful; however, over time pain and discomfort decline as your muscles and tissue are loosened. After continued use, you should notice a dramatic reduction in tightness as well as enhanced mobility and flexibility, all of which are particularly beneficial to athletes seeking to maintain full range of motion in their joints. Flexibility allows you to properly execute skills without any hindrances.

Experts recommend foam rolling both before and after a workout—before to loosen up muscles and after to remove any toxins (such as lactic acid). Feel free to foam roll every day to maximize the benefits.

For more information on foam rolling exercises, check out the video above.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Fitbit Force: They Got it Right

A Better Foam Roller: the enso Roller by EvoFit, Reviewed

Weight Room Debate: Should You Wear Lifting Gloves?

A Field Guide to Weird Looking Weightlifting Bars

Nike+ FuelBand Tracks Your Everyday Activity

Previewing the New Fitbit Flex

12 Must-Have Items in the Athlete's Gym Bag

8 Training Innovations Shaping the Future of Fitness

Where The Best Athletes Get Better

Short on Workout Equipment? Try These Tips

3 Pieces of Inexpensive, Effective Football Training Equipment

17 Insanely Expensive College Athletic Training Facilities

One Piece of Home Exercise Equipment Every Athlete Needs

The Best Home Exercise Equipment For Under $200

Battle-Tested Workout Equipment You Can Make Yourself

Mayfield Wildcats Get a New Training Home

Training Tool: SKLZ Quick Ladder

The Best Workout You're Not Doing

5 Pieces of Equipment Needed in Your Speed Training Toolbox

Show Your Team Pride With a Cirrus Stability Ball

Spend Less, Get Stronger

Under Armour's Armour39 Helps Athletes Get Better

6 Ways to a Better High School Weight Room

Basketball Workout: Vary Your Equipment

Embrace Contact in Basketball With This Tool

Improve Your Batting Average With a One-Handed Bat

Your High School Weight Room Is Inadequate

The Most Overrated Equipment in the Gym

5 Fitness Trackers That Are Worth the Money

Spark Motion Takes Baseball Training to the Next Level

STACK Tests: RockTape

Best Basketball Training Equipment

Previewing the Armour39

New Cirrus Yoga Mats Let You Show Team Spirit

Common Lifting Accessories and What They Do For You

Training Tool: SKLZ Recoil 360

5 New Game-Changing Fitness Inventions

Best Baseball Equipment for Pitchers

3 Specialty Barbells That Build Strength and Size

EPIC Treadmills: Make Each Run Legendary

VertiMax CEO Mike Wehrell on Life After Football

Guide to Training on Different Surfaces

Pros and Cons of Using a Weightlifting Belt

Low-Cost Speed Training Gear

Push-Up Equipment That Works

You Need These 4 Fitness Training Accessories