What is your post-workout routine? Do you stretch, focus on nutrition, foam roll, rehydrate or shower up and get right back into the routine of normal life? If your answer is ‘no,’ you’re not alone! While many of us are guilty of skipping this important step from time to time, and some of us more than occasionally, it’s important to find the post-workout routine that works for you and that you can be consistent with. That said, not all post-workout activities are created equal.
There is a large trend in many areas of sport as well as some health providers to promote foam rolling. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE the way foam rolling can make your body feel when done right, but we also want you to be informed. Foam rolling There are countless research articles showing the benefits of foam rolling in regards to improved range of motion (ROM) and this can be very important in reducing risks of injury, counteracting the lousy postures we often put our bodies in throughout the day. The important detail to know is that there is very limited research on the benefits of foam rolling for recovery and a great deal of what is out there pertains to power sports and not endurance sports. With this being said, scientific evidence is still inconclusive on any performance benefits of foam rolling.
What does that mean for you? Personally, we believe that added ROM is very important for overall health and the potential reduction in injury that is provided. Also, we know that placebos are in scientific studies for a reason: the power of the mind is a huge factor for us. So, if you feel better after you get done foam rolling, feel like it helps you to be able to be more consistent with your training or if you just like the sweet torture of working out those knots then have at it! If not, don’t feel like this is the end-all post-workout option. There are plenty of other ways to recover and improve your performance!
The Effects of Self-Myofascial Release Using a Foam Roll or Roller Massager on Joint Range of Motion, Muscle Recovery and Performance: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy