Foam roller is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. It can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion.
Foam rolling can be an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cooldown, before and after exercise. And the benefits of foam rolling may vary from person to person.
Foam rolling can be beneficial for easing sore muscles and reducing inflammation.
One small studyTrusted Source of eight male participants found evidence that foam rolling after exercise may help reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness. In the study, physically active men foam rolled for 20 minutes immediately after exercise in addition to 24 and 48 hours after exercising.
These participants saw a decrease in their delayed-onset muscle soreness when compared to exercising without foam rolling. They also performed physical exercises better than those who didn’t foam roll.
More research is needed in a larger, more diverse group of people to confirm how foam rolling affects muscle pain.
Foam rolling may help increase your range of motion, but more research is needed. Range of motion is important for flexibility and performance.
Researchers found evidence from one small studyTrusted Source of 11 adolescent athletes that a combination of foam rolling and static stretching was most effective for increasing range of motion. This was compared to static stretching or foam rolling alone.
Providers of some foam rolling products claim the products can help loosen and break up your fascia. Fascia are the body’s connective tissues and contribute to the appearance of cellulite.
While foam rolling may help smooth out your skin temporarily, there is currently no scientific evidence that it can permanently reduce cellulite.
The best way to reduce cellulite is to maintain an active lifestyle and consume a healthy diet.
SMR may be effectiveTrusted Source for easing pain in the body. It may help ease tension in the back, too.
It’s important to take care when using a foam roller on the back, however. It’s easy to strain or injure your back further.