Posted by GaelicPerformance on 6th Feb 2018

7 Ways Rolling can Help You

While there is little doubt that foam rolling or self myofascial release does work, why it works is often debated among exercise physiologists - 

By doing our own little bit of research, here are  some different positive benefits that rolling has on both the mind and body.

1.Improvement in Hydration Quality of the Fascia - Approximately 2/3 of the fascia is made up of water. In healthy Fascia, the water present is a state of bound water as opposed to bulk water (Pollack 2013) Through rolling, any bulk water ( which can be filled with free radicals) is forced out and replaced by fresh water from blood plasma, which leads to a healthier ground substance, and hence more resilient fascia ( Schleip 2015)

2. Increase In Range Of Motion - Over Time, due to trauma and injury, fascia can become stuck or glued together. This means that the muscles do not glide as smooth as they should which reduces mobility, and ability to disperse impacts. By Rolling through these adhesions, you are allowing your muscles to move more freely, hence increasing your range of motion and reducing your chances of localised injury

3. Increase in Blood Flow - Like the improvement in Hydration Quality, Rolling forces out old blood and allows fresh blood to move around the muscle. This allows waste substances to be removed and nutrients to be delivered to the muscle, which speeds up recovery

4.Increase in Proprioception

Often times, you will hear people refer to the fascia as your sixth sense. This is because the fascia is one of our richest sensory organs- rolling can stimulate the receptors, which will improve proprioceptive information going to the brain

5. Improvement in elasticity - Elasticity refers to an objects ability to return to its natural length, and while this occurs quite quickly in muscle, in Fascia, changes in length happen much more slowly. So for example, if a person is in the seated position for alot of the day, the fascia will adapt and take the shape of that position. This can cause hot spots, trigger points, or tension which can be released through rolling

6. Softening/Reduction in Tension - Through rolling, a person can learn to “relax” their muscles, making them more efficient and less susceptible to injury

7 . Therapeutic Effect - Recent research has shown that in addition to physical benefits, there is also an increase in the feeling of wellbeing, which has a positive impact on thereduction of tension