Foam rolling exercises are a popular recovery method to help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and improve mobility. Because there are areas on the body which get tight and painful and can hinder exercise performance.

Foam rolling is either better than sliced bread or a complete waste of time depending on whose opinion you listen too. But there is plenty of middle ground. You should think of foam rolling as a poor man’s massage. Having a massage therapist massage you is more effective, but foam rolling is cheaper and more accessible.

Here we will go into five must-do foam rolling exercises and the benefits to each muscle group. Let’s dive in.

The Benefits of Foam Rolling Exercises

Yes, the foam roller doesn’t tickle, but the benefits below are worth it.

  • Reduces Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

In a study published by the Journal of Athletic Training, men who foam rolled their legs after a workout reported a decrease in their post-workout tenderness. They used a roller for 20 mins. after their workout, and again 24 and 48 hours later.

  • Improves joint range of motion

When reducing muscle adhesions and working on trigger points in the fascia, you’ll improve the muscles’ elasticity and help them return to their ideal length. This improves your joint range of motion allowing you to strengthen all parts of the movement for better strength and hypertrophy.

  • Helps with muscular pain and tension

The pressure from rolling helps increase blood flow and elevate heat in the parts the foam roller is rolling, and there have been studies done that shows that this can help ease muscular pain and tension. But be careful not to roll into pain or put your body in position to make pain worse. This will cause all the benefits of foam rolling to disappear.

Athletic runner foam rolling his calf muscle on the track field

The Ultimate Guide to Foam Rolling

Learn how to prevent injury and reduce muscle strain.

Read article