Foam roller

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Foam roller

A foam roller is a lightweight, cylindrical tube of compressed foam.[1] It may be used for many reasons, including increasing flexibility, reducing soreness, and eliminating muscle knots.[2] Foam rolling is a method of self-myofascial release.[3] Foam rollers have a short term positive impact in the range of motion of joints,[3] but long term performance or range of motion benefits are unknown.[4] Combining foam rolling and stretching does not cause a significant impact in range of motion compared to only foam rolling or stretching, but does have a superior effect in performance only if stretching is done after foam rolling.[5] A 2021 analysis of studies concluded that "evidence seems to justify the widespread use of foam rolling as a warm-up activity rather than a recovery tool" while arguing that post exercise or recovery rolling reduced muscle pain perception.[6] A 2019 review concluded that 90 seconds of foam rolling per muscle group may be the minimum needed to achieve a reduction in muscle pain or soreness in the short term but that there is insufficient evidence for the optimal amount.[4]

Rollers come in different sizes and degrees of firmness. The firmness (often identified by the color) can range from soft to firm, soft being best for beginners.[2]


  1. ^ "Roll away muscle pain". Harvard Health Publishing. December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "You Asked: Should I Use a Foam Roller?". Time.
  3. ^ a b Cheatham, Scott W.; Kolber, Morey J.; Cain, Matt; Lee, Matt (December 2015). "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. 10 (6): 827–838. ISSN 2159-2896. PMC 4637917. PMID 26618062.
  4. ^ a b Hughes, Garrett A.; Ramer, Leanne M. (December 2019). "Duration Of Myofascial Rolling For Optimal Recovery, Range Of Motion, And Performance: A Systematic Review Of The Literature". International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 14 (6): 845–859. doi:10.26603/ijspt20190845. ISSN 2159-2896. PMC 6878859. PMID 31803517.
  5. ^ Konrad, Andreas; Nakamura, Masatoshi; Bernsteiner, Daniel; Tilp, Markus (2021-07-01). "The Accumulated Effects of Foam Rolling Combined with Stretching on Range of Motion and Physical Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 20 (3): 535–545. doi:10.52082/jssm.2021.535. ISSN 1303-2968. PMC 8256518. PMID 34267594.
  6. ^ Wiewelhove, Thimo; Döweling, Alexander; Schneider, Christoph; Hottenrott, Laura; Meyer, Tim; Kellmann, Michael; Pfeiffer, Mark; Ferrauti, Alexander (2019-04-09). "A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Foam Rolling on Performance and Recovery". Frontiers in Physiology. 10: 376. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00376. ISSN 1664-042X. PMC 6465761. PMID 31024339.