Friday, June 13, 2014

foam rolling

article courtesy of and found ::here::
foam roller that the fit beasts uses can be purchased ::here::

Foam roller exercises are a fantastic, inexpensive way to increase mobility and performance, prevent injuries, and eliminate nagging muscle pains.

Foam rolling used to be a mysterious, “experimental” technique used solely by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists, its ultimate effectiveness unproven.
Well, thanks to years of technique development, and a bit of recent clinical research, foam rolling has become a common practice for people at all levels of fitness, and for good reason.
For just $20 – 40 and 5 – 10 minutes of your time, a few days per week, you can use foam rolling to dramatically improve mobility and thus range of motion, to reduce the risk of injury, and to remove pains that you might be experiencing while you put your body through certain motions.
In this article, I want to explain a bit of why foam rolling works, and 5 of my favorite foam rolling exercises for supporting my weightlifting routine.

How Foam Rolling Works

In fancy-speak, foam rolling is a “self-myofascial release” method that relaxes overactive muscles that are preventing proper activation and motion.
To understand self-myofascial release, let’s break it down:
Myo- is a prefix meaning “muscle,” and fascia is a soft, fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, allowing for mobility while providing support and protection.
Thus, self-myofascial release simply refers to a way whereby you can release tension in the fascia surrounding your muscles, and the muscles themselves.
You see, fascia can become overly tight through overuse, injury, and even inactivity. The result is inflammation, pain, muscle tension, reduction of blood flow, and loss of mobility, and if the problem becomes severe or prolonged, the fascia can actually thicken, causing pain and further inflammation.
Now, mechanically speaking, foam rolling is very simple.
You position your body in certain ways on a foam cylindrical tube to put pressure on trigger points, which are tight spots in muscles that, when pressed on, produce pain that refers to other areas in the body (can be felt in areas other than where you’re applying pressure) . 
By holding pressure on these trigger points, your body will gradually relax the areas, causing the pain to fade. This is known as releasing trigger points.
“Relaxation” is underselling the benefits of foam rolling, though. It can actually make quite a difference in your training.

The Benefits of Foam Roller Exercises

When you release fascial and muscular tightness, inflammation and pain diminish, and blood flow is restored.
While this might “sound nice,” it actually means a lot for us fitness folk. 
For example, a study conducted by Memorial University of Newfoundland found that foam rolling increases range of motion without decreasing strength (which is a problem with pre-workout stretching).
The greater the range of motion in an exercise, the more work your muscles have to do, which in turn leads to great gains in strength and size. And due to the fact that it doesn’t impair performance, you can foam roll before a workout to prime your body for the training.
study conducted by Osaka Aoyama University found that foam rolling reduces arterial stiffness and thus improves blood flow.
Better blood flow means better removal of metabolic waste from tissues and better delivery of nutrients, which ultimately helps with muscle repair.
We can see these effects in a study that demonstrated that foam rolling reduces the severity of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that occurs after training, and increases range of motion.
So, as you can see, regular foam rolling over longer periods of time can actually make quite a difference in the results you get out of your training.